Message to TV3 execs – Is this really acceptable?

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everyday-sexism-book

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If there is one thing that Tania Billingsley has raised in this country, it is focusing the glare of public scrutiny  on New Zealand’s casually sexist and demeaning attitude toward women. Some refer to it as a “rape culture”, where men (and generally speaking, they are men) hold the most repulsive attitudes imaginable toward  women.

I’m not even referring to rapists, molesters, and men who beat (and often kill) their partners senseless.

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I’m referring to the casual acceptance of views toward women that are more suited to less enlightened societies, than a supposedly advanced, well-educated nation like ours. It is views of some men who – whilst not abusers and rapists themselves – are enablers of attitudes that empower the abusers and rapists by creating an ingrained belief that they are entitled to abuse and rape. Somewhere in the back of what passes for the minds of abusers and rapists are the comments they’ve read and heard elsewhere in society; that it is ok to mistreat and violate women. (Though they have to be over 16 to be abused and violated. Anyone under that, and the abuser/rapist is labelled a paedophile – which is evidently still ‘not ok” for misogynists. Yet. But working on it.)

The vileness of such attitudes is not just found on rabid social media pages where  poorly-educated,  and often insecure males (predominantly),  click “Like” to show their solidarity  with several hundred (a minority) other poorly-educated and often insecure males.

The mainstream media also has a culture of sexism, ranging from crass innuendo and exploitation of women,  to outright violence.

Case in point is the media personality-cum-village-idiot, Paul Henry.

Henry has a track record in boorish behaviour, more befitting an immature, adolescent male, rather than a mature man who should know better.

As Mike Kilpatrick wrote for Fairfax media on 16 July, Henry’s obnoxiousness reached a nadir when he interviewed Dr Michelle Dickinson, a scientist working at Auckland University;

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Auckland University - Michelle Dickinson - Paul Henry - TV3

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To quote the Auckland university directory, Dr Dickinson’s  areas of expertise are;

Nanotechnology, Nanomechanical testing, Fracture Mechanics, Materials Engineering, Biomimetics, Calcified Biological Structures.

And,

Dr Michelle Dickinson obtained her PhD from Rutgers University (USA) and her MEng from Manchester University (UK) in Biomedical Materials Engineering. She has previously held positions in industry which brings an applied focus to her academic research.

Her research is involved in measuring the mechanical properties of materials from the nanoscale through to the macro scale, specifically using indentation techniques.

She has a special interest in biological material behaviour and adapting traditional engineering measurement techniques and models to suit realistic biological testing conditions.

Dr Dickinson is a scientist with serious credentials*.

Which makes what followed next all the more jaw-droppingly unbelievable.

After a cursory interview with Dr Dickinson, Henry then asked a  question of mind-blowing, crass sexism, as Kilpatrick  explained in his Fairfax piece,

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Just when you thought Paul Henry couldn't sink lower

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Henry then shows a photograph of Branson hugging Dickinson and then asks the question “Did you have sex with Richard Branson?”.

Note the question; “Did you have sex with Richard Branson?”.

For those with kevlar-lined stomachs, they can see the interview here. The offensive remarks are 5:21 into the interview.

To illustrate the sadly-all-too-predictable consequences of Henry’s  comment, read the public comments – 425 as at this blogpost – which followed Kilpatrick’s story. Note the attitude of  those who think that Henry’s comments are acceptable. Note the casualness of acceptance of a remark that, in other circumstance, would be utterly unacceptable in normal social circles, and result in oppobrium.

Is this to  be the new benchmark standard for female guests for TV3?

What do female staff and management think of Henry’s remarks? Would they be comfortable if comments like that were directed at them? Or their daughters?

What does Sussan Turner, Group CEO of MediaWorks think of being asked – in public – who she’s recently had sex with?

Perhaps Clare Bradley, Legal Counsel/Company Secretary; Siobhan McKenna, Chief Executive Officer (Interactive); Wendy Palmer, Chief Executive Officer (Radio); Liz Fraser, Director of Sales & Marketing; Katie Mills,  Group Marketing Director (Radio); and Jana Rangooni, General Manager  (Talk Brands), et al, might like to offer answers  to Paul Henry’s questioning of their own sex lives?

If not, why do TV3 executives think that such comments directed at Dr Dickinson were remotely acceptable?

Allow me to remind TV3 executives, producers, staff, and presenters;

  • It is not ok to treat women like that.
  • It is not ok to have it beamed into our homes.
  • It is not ok to give voice to a culture of sexist denigration.
  • And it is not ok to dismiss it as just “humour”. There is nothing remotely funny about sexist denigration.

After all, this is precisely why 99% of New Zealanders were so horrified at the degrading  behaviour of a group of young men calling themselves “Roastbusters”.

At least the “Roastbusters” had the excuse of youthful stupidity (a crime I was guilty of, in my own youth).

Paul Henry has no such excuse.  He is a supposedly mature, responsible, 54 year old man.

I agree with Mike Kilpatrick. Henry’s comment was beyond the pale. He must resign, or be sacked. Unless New Zealanders are comfortable with more and more abhorrent, gutter-level attitudes being expressed by “media personalities” and broadcast into our homes, this kind of behaviour cannot be allowed to become a new norm.

Changing channels is not a practical option. Not if this kind of behaviour is to be normalised throughout the electronic media.

No wonder Jimmy Savile and Rolf Harris were able to inflict their decades-long reign of predatory-terror on hundreds of children and women. It had become acceptable and normalised. No one thought to speak out. And if they did, the new normality meant their cries for help fell on deaf ears.

Jimmy Savile and Rolf Harris were also funny men.

Their behaviour was anything but.

Well, Mike Kilpatrick has spoken out. And I add my voice to his. I refuse to give assent by silence. I refuse to turn my back on behaviour that, to fair-minded people, is just plain unacceptable.

TV3 – Paul Henry has no place in broadcasting.

He must go.

 

* Though all women, regardless of education achievements, professional status,  etc, should be treated with respect and not with degrading sexist attitudes that are demeaning and promote a culture of casual misogyny.

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Addendum 1

Email sent to TV3;

from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com>
to: Producers <paulhenryshow@mediaworks.co.nz>
cc: Mark Jennings <mjennings@mediaworks.co.nz>
date: Fri, Jul 18, 2014 at 12:10 AM
subject: Paul Henry Show – Asking a female guest if she’s had sex with a businessman – is this OK?

Kia ora,

Please refer below to a draft of a story which I intend to publish regarding remarks made by Paul Henry on his show, on 15 July and directed at his guest, Dr Michelle Dickinson.

I would appreciate your response to the issues I have raised and what remedies, if any, Mediaworks intends to make before I proceed further.

Your comment s would be appreciated.

Regards,
-Frank Macskasy
Blogger

[Draft copy of this blogpost included as in-text]

I received a response the same day;

from: Paul Henry Show <PaulHenryShow@mediaworks.co.nz>
to: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com>
date: Fri, Jul 18, 2014 at 5:26 PM
subject: RE: Paul Henry Show – Asking a female guest if she’s had sex with a businessman – is this OK?

Dear Mr Macskasy

TV3’s company culture is one that highly values equality and equal opportunity. Our news and current affairs division has often led the debate on how women are treated in New Zealand culture, including two of the instances you mention – a 3 News investigation uncovered the Roast Busters group and led the subsequent coverage, and Tania Billingsley recently told her story on 3rd Degree.

The question line taken by Paul in Tuesday night’s interview with Dr Michelle Dickinson was checked with her before the interview, and Dr Dickinson has confirmed she was not offended at the time, and is not offended now. The question was not asked without Dr Dickinson’s okay. She is an intelligent and articulate person who has appeared on the show many times and can hold her own with Paul (and anyone else). Dr Dickinson has since made her views on the interview clear and it is worth paying her the respect of reading her blog at http://sciblogs.co.nz/nanogirl/2014/07/17/science-sexism-and-the-media/

For the record we completely reject the comparisons your email makes between Paul Henry, and the actions of the Roast Busters group and of renowned paedophiles Jimmy Saville and Rolf Harris. Such comparisons are irresponsible, lacking in fairness and balance, and verging on defamatory.

I’m afraid it’s just not possible to take your blog or questions about TV3 seriously when they are written from a position of such ignorance.

Regards

Rachel Lorimer
Group Head of Corporate Communications

Fiona MacMillan
Executive Producer, Paul Henry Show

For the record, I did read Ms Dickinson’s sciblog post, and have several points to make;

  1. My criticism of TV3 and Paul Henry in no way reflects on Ms Dickinson or her professional career. Dr Dickinson can in no way be held responsible or associated with things that Paul Henry said.
  2. This issue is wider than Dr Dickinson herself, and if muppets like Henry can get away with asking obnoxious questions from a highly respected; well-educated; professional woman – then no one else is safe from his prurient “humour”. It was not too long ago that Willie Jackson and John Tamihere were suspended as radio-hosts from RadioLive, after  comments were directed to a woman about her sex life, after she disclosed on-air that  she had been raped as a 14-year-old.
  3. I sympathise with Ms Dickinson’s remark in her blogpost; “I feel passionately about providing our daughters with a positive role model for an educated female who is successful in a very male dominated field“. The question is – how does being questioned about one’s sex-life help our daughters to be successful in male dominated fields?
  4. Dr Dickinson further writes; “Yes, I’m not naive to the reputation that Paul has and I go on to his show prepared for a question that may be slightly off topic or controversial, but I’m an intelligent female who works in a very male dominated field, and I’m used to inappropriate and sexist comments and questions, it goes with the territory of being a female engineer!  Perhaps my past experience of being the only woman in a meeting (and asked to make the tea), or being told that if I want to be taken seriously I need to wear shoes with less of a heel as they could distract the men in the room has made me a little immune to sexism and a little more tolerant of comments that I should be offended by.” Should we not be offended by such remarks? And should we not do more than just being offended?
  5. Should boofheads like Paul Henry not be challenged when they make disparaging sexist comments to women they would never dream of making to male guests? Just as scientists once challenged authority on much-cherished beliefs that the world was flat and the sun orbited the Earth or that disease was caused by  ‘humors’ of the body?
  6. Ms Lorimer and Ms MacMillan seem more keen to label me as “ignorant” rather than addressing the issues I raised in my blogpost. Does this mean they have no answers to the criticisms I have levelled? They certainly have studiously avoided the questions I put to them;
  • Is this to  be the new benchmark standard for female guests for TV3?
  • What do female staff and management think of Henry’s remarks? Would they be comfortable if comments like that were directed at them? Or their daughters?
  • What does Sussan Turner, Group CEO of MediaWorks think of being asked – in public – who she’s recently had sex with?
  • Perhaps Clare Bradley, Legal Counsel/Company Secretary; Siobhan McKenna, Chief Executive Officer (Interactive); Wendy Palmer, Chief Executive Officer (Radio); Liz Fraser, Director of Sales & Marketing; Katie Mills,  Group Marketing Director (Radio); and Jana Rangooni, General Manager  (Talk Brands), et al, might like to offer answers  to Paul Henry’s questioning of their own sex lives?
  • If not, why do TV3 executives think that such comments directed at Dr Dickinson were remotely acceptable?

Fairly simple, straight-forward questions I would have thought?

Or perhaps they would prefer to discuss their sex-lives, if it’s easier?

Addendum 2

A list of  companies advertising during the Paul Henry Show on 16 July;

Ford (Kia)

Subway

ANZ

Heineken

Placemakers

NIB Health Cover

Harvey Norman

Caredirect (caredirect.co.nz)

Whiskas (catfood)

Southern Cross Health

Masterfoods

Early Settlers (furniture)

Centrum (vitamins)

Future Finance (futurefinance.co.nz)

Skysport

KFC

Bridgestone Tyres

 

Dependent on TV3’s actions to follow, this blogger will be contacting the above advertisers next and posing three very simple questions; do they want to be associated with a TV show that promotes sexist denigration of women? Do they want to risk having their reputations tarnished when this story goes ‘viral’ in the blogosphere and social media? And is this what they are paying their expensive ad-slot times for?

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References

NZ Herald: Bryce Edwards – Does New Zealand have a ‘rape culture’?

Fairfax media: Just when you thought Paul Henry couldn’t sink lower…

Auckland University:  Dr Michelle Emma Dickinson

TV3:  Organic foods study finds significant benefits

Fairfax media:  Just when you thought Paul Henry couldn’t sink lower

NZ Herald: Roast Busters: RadioLive hosts taken off air

Additional

Sciblogs: Science, sexism and the media

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david cunliffe stood up on the issue of domestic violence

Above image acknowledgment: Francis Owen/Lurch Left Memes

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= fs =

28 COMMENTS

  1. I am almost at a loss for words about the actions and reactions of TV3 staff – thank you for an excellent article. I need to digest the content and think about how I am going to respond to TV3 myself, and how I might discuss this kind of behaviour with my 12yo daughter.

  2. Nuanced blog @Frank! Paul’s views and the way he treats women and the way he demeans well educated women (probably because he felt threatened by her intelligence) is really common. I hold multiple degrees and I am always being talked over, even on topics I am really well educated on. So often men find ways to put down our intelligence and knowledge. Whether it is talking over us, commenting on our appearance or making out right sexist comments like Paul did. This is part of everyday sexism. Paul Henry is not unusual in his comments, and overwhelmingly people feel what he said was fine and LOL! They do not understand this kind of sexist language objectifies women, and when you objectify women you legitimize their abuse and oppression.

  3. Rachel Lorimer & Fiona MacMillan’s response is as jaw dropping as Henrys latest verbal grope. What a treacherous bunch of women execs Frank has revealed.

    Henry is actually acting out his highly sexist behaviour in plain view just like Rolf “Jake the Ped” Harris and Saville, those that think Henry is ‘just joking’ need their own heads and attitudes examined.

    Campbell must be the last bastion at TV3 of any thing resembling basic decency.

  4. “The tragedy of machismo is that a man is never quite man enough.”
    Germaine Greer

    “Women are the only exploited group in history to have been idealized into powerlessness.”
    Erica Jong

  5. Imagine the modern corporate media have the ethics and morals of Gollum. Imagine that for the modern corporate media, their Precious is ratings.

    Now, do you think your complaints will have any effect? Or do we need to throw the whole lot of them into a volcano?

  6. I cannot believe that anyone with a brain would ask such a question.

    I am stunned that Dr Dickinson did not throw a jug of water over the creep. I do not wish to place any blame on her for Henry’s offensiveness but I do believe she has done other women a disservice by treating the matter so lightly.

    • I don’t really think that’s a fair comment — it is not Michelle Dickinson’s job to represent all women, and if you consider the fact that (as Chloe pointed out) most people think Henry’s question was a bit of fun, I think it’s easy to see how she might not want to become the new posterchild for sexism. Especially given how those who have chosen to highlight these things (Tania Billingsley for example) have been vilified by members of the media.

      • Yes. But if a professional woman who feels comfortable in her career and life is not able to succinctly and immediately put a question like this into place – who is? The fourteen year old girl on a National Radio programme? Of course not.

        It is reasonable to say that by not dealing with this on national tv, she has allowed this culture to continue. This does not mean that she is solely responsible for changing it – but she missed an opportunity to be a small (but well publicised) part of change.

      • it is not Michelle Dickinson’s job to represent all women …

        No one was saying it is. But perhaps the question should be asked, if a woman as intelligent and articulate as Dr Dickinson doesn’t stand up to sexist, boorish behaviour – who will?

        Whose “job” is it?

        (as Chloe pointed out) most people think Henry’s question was a bit of fun

        “A bit of fun”?! So in plain english, you are dismissing this and not calling it for what it is – sexism?

        Would you be ok if someone asked you this question on nationwide TV? Your daughter? Your mum?

        I think it’s easy to see how she might not want to become the new posterchild for sexism. Especially given how those who have chosen to highlight these things (Tania Billingsley for example) have been vilified by members of the media

        Ms Billingsley has stood up and spoken out.

        You would rather stay quiet and validate it to yourself by calling it “fun”?

        Tell me, “Sophie”, how would women’s rights progress if no one spoke out?

        Imagine if the suffragettes had not spoken out for gaining the vote. Most likely you’d have no choice in staying silent – it would be your lot to live in silence.

  7. Paul Henry needs to be educated on how damaging sexism in the media is. What about his question the other night to his co-host, asking her where her sexuality sits on a scale of 1- 100? She clearly did not want to answer but did, it was uncomfortable viewing.

  8. Well done Frank. Great effort.

    It must be becoming more obvious to you about why nothing of this nature ever gets fixed, and the abuse just goes on and on and on.

    Tis a very hard nut to crack for a person who hasn’t been raped or abused – and impossible for those who have.

    Those women at TV3 won’t want to speak out – perhaps they will lose out on the next promotion if they do. This is just the way of things. The womans lot.
    Dr Dickenson points this out herself.

    I think the government could stop allowing that awful doctor who is married to that disgusting paedophile, from that former cult group up north, to give them policy advise about sexual abuse and what to do with the victims – because ‘she’ approves of paedophilia – pretty much like that Judge in Oz. You know, children want it, and like it, and seek it, and we should give it no mind, and one day it will be legal. This is what we are up against. You would need more than a nuclear bomb to break down that wall.

    But it must be done. It must be stopped. Before everyone, including our children believe that it is normal. Even the well educated and intelligent Dr Dickenson has become casual about it – and she had to so she could survive in a male dominated world of science.

    Maybe she has never been raped or beaten, or had a child of her own raped. She won’t have the trauma emotion developed in her heart and soul and mind if she hasn’t.

    Thankyou Frank. I hope you keep at it.

    Opinion.

  9. In the western world our society likes to pride itself on equality of the sexes and we wince or howl with outrage when we hear about each example of Muslim men treating women like property. We shake our heads and mutter to ourselves “but we in New Zealand are better than that.” Women certainly have more legal rights here than in the Middle East but are they any freer from social sanctions, exploitation or abuse? The level of child abuse, sexual exploitation and domestic violence in this country says that if they are better off, it is only very superficially so. Further more the hatred and abuse directed at anyone (male or female) who dares question the attitude of “normal” society in this country suggests that we need to stop thinking like cavepeople and start thinking as civilized people.

    • Mike – and everyone else – thank you. Thank you, heaps.

      When I heard Henry’s comment, I reacted with disgust. I wrote to TV3, and expressed that disgust. Then I received the response and read Dr Dickinson’s blogpost, and – not very often – I began to doubt if what I had felt and thought on this issue was overly-exaggerated.

      Was I losing it? Was (am) I too sensitive?

      Had I slipped through a tear in spacetime into another reality, where norms had shifted and I was out of synch with the rest of this Universes’ human race?

      No?

      Well, in that case, now I had an insight into how some women experience sexual harassment; that “it’s me at fault”, and not the perpetrator. It is such an insidiously corrupting feeling. Ye gods, how do women live with it?

      Nice to know it wasn’t me, and I haven’t “lost it”…

      • Thank you Frank for your excellent comments.
        It is bad enough the question that came out of Paul Henry’s sick mouth, but the justification from Rachel Lorimer and Fiona MacMillan is abhorrent.
        There is a saying “For evil to exist – good people do nothing”, you did the right thing Frank.
        We need to let the advertisers know what we think of this overrated buffoon and start to boycott their products.

  10. I have been struggling on the fringes of this debate for a long time. Sometimes I fall on your side and sometimes I don’t.
    Where I get lost is in statements such as-
    “… the most repulsive attitude imaginable toward women…”, being “… the casual acceptance of views towards women that are more suited to less enlightened societies.” And then you write an article about some joker (who we all know likes to push the envelope) making a stupid sexist comment. Suddenly this stupid comment is the worst thing that could have ever been said to a woman and if you don’t think so then you are “… an enabler of attitudes which empower abusers and rapists by creating an ingrained belief that they are entitled to abuse and rape.”
    What?
    So my belief that his comment was stupid, but nothing worth getting upset over, would provoke the same reaction from you if I was as unmoved by him saying, “You stupid cunt, the only reason you’re there is because you’re a hot piece of ass that Branson wants to fuck.”
    In my mind there is light years between those two comments. They do not share the same universe… but you want me to believe that they are as bad as each other? You want Joe Public to believe that Paul’s comment and that one are equal? This is where I lose it and suspect everyone who opposes your view loses it too. Before calling anyone who doesn’t share your anger at such comments a Rape Apologist, meet them at a level they (I) will understand.
    I think instead of trying to change attitudes (which have been ingrained for millennia) in one foul swoop, start small and don’t sweat the insignificant.

    • Hamish, give yourself an uppercut. That was the most rape culture apologist post I’ve ever read apart from what Slater posts every other day. I can’t meet you at a level you will understand because I’d be neck deep in shit if I were to try it.

      Paul Henry is poison. Everyone knows it. He’s been sacked more times than he’s insulted women on air, and that’s saying something. Guess what, he’ll be sacked again before long!

      He’s a Howard Stern type shock jock, and does NZ really need Howard Stern types? I don’t think so, because that’s one of the things that makes us different from the USA.

      • I think you are confusing your hatred of Paul Henry with my query on where the line separating the stupid comments from the ones that are perpetuating rape culture.
        I couldn’t care less about Paul Henry. I would never had even known he had made this comment had I not read it on this blog.
        I guess what I was wanting to know was: where is the line drawn? It’s hard to understand. I read an article where rape culture is the reason why we have girls toys and boys toys… WTF?
        Victim blaming is a sound argument for rape culture. My friend joking about how big her tits are doesn’t seem to be, but apparently women who reduce themselves to their body parts are part of the problem.
        I am not a smart man and so I am probably indicative of all the people who don’t understand, so in order to help us learn you might have to reduce yourself to my level which, as you put it, unfortunately might leave you neck deep in shit.

    • I think instead of trying to change attitudes (which have been ingrained for millennia) in one foul swoop, start small and don’t sweat the insignificant.

      For the life of me, I can’t even begin to view Henry’s comments as “insignificant”. Demeaning a woman on nationwide TV, by raising her personal sex life, hardly seems insignificant, Hamish.

      Apply the same question to a female family member or someone else you hold dear, and see how you begin to feel about the issue. (Yes, this is personalising it – but sometimes people seem unable to relate to an issue, experience, or problem, until they themselves are confronted by it.)

      But perhaps you could illuminate us by suggesting how we should ” start small”, as you suggest.

      Where would you start, Hamish, to counter rampant sexism and misogyny in our society?

  11. Hamish – I think you’ll find it’s ‘fell swoop’.

    Whilst I’ve heard and seen far more repulsive conduct from men towards women, Henry’s question was anything but insignificant – not because of the relatively mild words he used but because of the fact that he, as a high profile commentator, thought it was appropriate to ask it of a guest on his show. She’s an educated woman and he wanted to trivialise her; by failing to give him a much deserved verbal smack, she allowed him to trivialise her and in so doing she colluded with his sexism. Just as the women at TV3 who have defended him are colluding with it.

    I find the comment offensive because it is sexist but much more because it is puerile and doltish and is a calculated appeal to the lowest common denominator in our society. It is actually an expression of contempt for his audience.

    It is also an invitation to men to behave badly. We all know Henry has limits on what he can say on camera but his viewers don’t; he pushes out to boundaries that they may well feel justified in going beyond -both in what they say and what they do.

    Try criticising Henry to any of his fans – the reaction is always hostile and frequently misogynistic – sometimes viciously so. If you are thought to be a woman the response is likely to be that you are a lesbian/ ugly/fat/in need of a ‘real man’ etc; if you are thought to be a man you must be gay or a wimp, a bleeding heart liberal – definitely not a ‘red blooded’ man.

  12. I am a male scientist. I have had female students and have female colleagues. None of them would have accepted Paul Henry’s rancid question. I am not an engineer, thank god. I strongly suspect that a woman with a successful career in engineering would have had to be socialised by the environment to the extent that they would not complain about overt displays of sexism. She may well feel that she should just shut up and accept it. I find this incredibly sad.

    If I were ever to be interviewed by the obnoxious idiot, I would ask him if he would have sex with Richard Branson. It’s pretty obvious that he would offer erotic delights, up to and including irrumation, to John Key.

  13. My initial reaction was disgust at Dr Michelle Dickinson’s reaction to Henry’s remarks.

    That she “was not offended at the time, and is not offended now”, but more so “the question ….was checked with her before the interview”, tells me she is complicit in this display of graceless insulting chauvinism.

    What I should feel is grief.
    Women who work in male dominated industries do not get far in their chosen career when they’re assertive, when they actively condemn sexism and chauvinism in their workplace.
    Dr Michelle Dickinson is punch drunk and has learned helplessness.
    It is tragic that her “past experience…. has made me a little immune to sexism and a little more tolerant of comments that I should be offended by“.

  14. Here’s the reality. As long as he rates he will be there. That’s the world we live in now. We may not like it, but it’s unlikely to change anytime soon. Commercialism rules!

    • Extraordinary. Rodney Hide really got it. Kudos to him for voicing what is a very, very un-popular message these days; that New Zealand does have a rape-culture and it is the enablers who allow it to continue.

  15. Whether Dr Dickinson was OK with the question is neither here nor there. What I don’t understand is 1. Why would Pull Henry ask such a question – of anyone, man or woman? 2. Of what earthly interest is the matter to anyone but possibly Dr Dickinson and Mr Branson? 3. Why is Pull Henry employed by anyone in this country, in any capacity, for any salary?

    But he’s of a type that has passed beyond stereotypical into an archetype in New Zealand, and probably the world at large: a crap presenter, of trivial intelligence, and a complete waste of time and space (I may have discovered the beginnings of the answer to the unified field theory problem right there!).

    That the Australians couldn’t stomach the clown ought to have told someone something. But that is to ignore the complete tosser mentality that has infected (infested?) the televised spews media since even before the Muldoon Dark Ages. After all, they were paying Paul Holmes $600,000 p.a. salaries when he would have been glad to have been on air for a tithe of that. Who was said of Pull Henry’s sniggering over a name that seemed to him highly amusing: ‘He’s saying what everyone’s thinking.’ Well that woman (as it happened) can speak for herself. And in any case, if everybody were ‘thinking it’, surely any comment is at the very least otiose?

    But Pull Henry is himself the embodiment of the otiose, the redundant, the disposable, the superfluous. So far as I’m concerned, he can sod off.

  16. Paul Henry proved insufficently sophisticated for OZ – lord knows why that is supposed to qualify him for NZ TV.

    • I don’t think it was a matter of sophistication. The Aussies measure a person by how “dinkum” they are – real, genuine, authentic – you can be as controversial, rude, sexist as you like as long as that’s really you. Paul Henry’s “cheekiness” is plastic, along with his faux blokiness and the occasional sanitised bloody and bugger. The “wink wink nudge nudge know what I mean guv’nor” routine is lame and dated but it’s unchallenging, easily digestible pap for an audience hooked on TV soma.

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