Oh Henry! #$%*(^)#@@#$ to you too.

October 6, 2010

Ah, that delightful little sprite the Fuck-Up Fairy (FUF) has been dancing on the broad shoulders of disgraced TV sock puppet Paul Henry for sometime. The shit was bound to hit the fan one day and that day was Monday.

Until then the gormless and goonish Henry has been protected by some lucky charm and the dismissive comment that ‘he’s just like that’.

Well, yes. He is like that. He’s like a rotten, racist, foul-mouthed, trumped-up, bigoted, insensitive, right-wing dribblejaws with a modicum of intelligence, but not enough to help him keep his maw shut.

His comments about the Governor General not looking or sounding like a Kiwi are racist, particularly given that Anand Satyanand was born in Grey fckuing Lynn.

Sir Anand, in Delhi for the Commonwealth Games, said he had not received a personal apology.

“I haven’t seen his apology. I’ve seen news reports that he has [apologised]. If he has, that’s fine.”

He said when he heard of the comments he only had one reaction.

“I am a New Zealand-born New Zealander. I am reliably informed I was born in 37 Dryden Street, Grey Lynn at the Bethany.

“That’s all I need to add to the chemistry.”

But let’s be clear, the comments would be racist in any context and it’s good to see the strong reaction against Henry this week. Even TVNZ has reacted and thrown Henry’s sorry ass into the can for a couple of weeks. But only, it seems after first attempting to smooth the row over with another ‘that’s Paul!’  comment:

TVNZ is also facing criticism over an initial statement in which spokeswoman Andi Brotherston defended Henry, saying he often said what “we quietly think but are scared to say out loud”.

[Angry Henry]

Oh, so it’s OK to be quietly racist at TVNZ, just don’t get caught. So if you talk in code, rather than overtly bigoted tones, you can get away with it and send dog whistle messages to ACT party supporters in the vain hope that the government won’t cut the budgets even more.

Herald media commentator John Drinnan goes down this track, suggesting that TVNZ won’t be financially harmed by the outrage. He even argues that Henry’s stupid remarks were “orchestrated”:

Don’t attack Paul Henry for his latest orchestrated outrage – questioning whether Anand Satyanand has been “New Zealand enough” to be Governor-General.

Don’t blame the monkey, blame the organ grinder.

The real question is about Television New Zealand and its cynical use of racial comments to boost publicity and profits.

[Drinnan: Don’t blame the monkey]

Dirnnan may be right about this, but it does seem that TVNZ had to be pushed in order for them to agrees to (reluctantly) shove Henry off the Breakfast set for a couple of weeks. This statement from CEO Rick Ellis shows just how reluctant TVNZ was to give Henry the boot:

“Paul is one of New Zealand’s best broadcasters. He is a provocative host who speaks his mind and that is what many New Zealanders like about him. He often pushes the boundaries and that’s important in a country that values freedom of speech. But I consider his latest remarks to have well and truly crossed that line.

[TVNZ Statement @nzherald.co.nz]

I would characterise Henry as a provocative host who shits all over people without a care in the world and that’s what many New Zealanders don’t like about him. At the moment the nation is evenly divided three ways in relation to Henry, but two-thirds don’t like his most recent outburst according to this Herald poll.

OH Henry - you're buggered!

I’d like to see a similar poll about how PM John Key’s handled this mess too. It’s not always easy to publicly stand up to racists, but Key should have said something to Henry instead of trying to laugh it off. That just legitimises the racism. The real shame here is with John Key, but hey, that’s John for you!

And Paul, put a sock in that filthy mouth of yours. You hand out the bruisings, but don’t like it when you’re the subject of the hounding. Get over it. Your comments that you’ll “sue the paper” for taking shots of your house and your neighbours’ houses shows just how little you really know about media law.

“Get off my f*****g land,” he shouted. “Have you got your pictures now? Have you taken photos of my property or any of my neighbours’ properties? If any photos are published I’ll sue the f*****g paper.”

When he was not given a response, he yelled: “Can you not speak, you there in the car? I will f*****g sue your paper.”

Here’s my tip: Paul, spend your gardening leave with a shrink and a law book. You will need the next couple of weeks to prepare a defence for the inevitable Broadcasting Standards Authority complaint hearing.

The big elephant in the parlour here is just how bigoted is New Zealand. A recent example that caught my eye was the interview last week on Campbell Live with the guy who’s running the keep New Zealand farms in New Zealand campaign. I was too busy at the time to write it up, but some of the same sentiments about White=Kiwi were in evidence there too, with just a smudge of mum’s homemade jam to sweeten the bitter bun.

We should come back to this question of racism in the national identity of New Zealand at a future date.

Baby herbal soup: the Internet for sick fc*ks

October 21, 2009

[EM’s long-promised update to this post. I did have some correspondence from people allegedly associated with Seoul Times (see below), but it was inconsequential and I’d forgotten about my promise to publish any reply. So if that person, or anyone else from ST wants to respond, send something.

What drew me back here today, April Fool’s Day in fact [01-April-2011] was an incoming link to this post from To find another paths.  The post is in Indonesian, but I have googletranslated it and posted that here.

It is amazing how this nasty viral hoax and blood libel continues to spread. I thank all those who link to Ethical Martini’s ongoing attempt to destroy this disease.

EM, Auckland 1 April 2011]

Ok, so I thought we’d nailed this long ago – BABY HERBAL SOUP IS A VIRAL INTERNET HOAX.

I’ve just come across another sick chatroom thread about the perennial ‘baby herbal soup’ hoax photographs that continue to circulate and to get more and more graphic. This is a new thread, it only went up on 20 October 2009.

That this happens is not really surprising, but the ignorant and racist comments that these posts generate is the really shocking aspect of this story.


The Furaffinity site - click to check [PGA]

The Furaffinity site - click to check PGA warning

This site claims to have the story from an online news source The Seoul Times and sure enough, the story is there, complete with all the nasty fake photos.


click to read Seoul Times 'baby herbal soup' story PGA

click to read Seoul Times 'baby herbal soup' story PGA

It’s one thing for this viral meme to circulate in chatrooms where ignorance and prejudice seem to rule, but for a news site to run it as a straight news piece is pretty disgusting.

It’s another argument in favour of having some form of trained cadre who can verify and check and against the idea that somehow the “bottom up” Internet is going to improve on the mainstream media. It purports to be a letter to the editor and it’s dated 30 September 2008, so now it’s recirculating thanks to Fur Affinity.

I have contacted the Seoul Times editor asking her/him to remove this piece, or at least to acknowledge that it is more than likely a hoax.

I encourage you to do the same.

You can simply copy and paste this text into your email browser. The address is seoultimes@gmail.com

Dear editor, I was shocked to see that you are running the Chinese baby soup story as if it were real and verified.
This is an internet hoax and you have been fooled into running this story which feeds prejudice and racism against Chinese people.
You can see what I mean here. http://www.furaffinity.net/journal/1004922/
I urge you to take this story down immediately and check for yourself that it is indeed a cruel and racist hoax.
I would appreciate it if you reply to this letter so that I know you take your journalistic responsibility seriously
I will post any responses from the editor

Ali Ikram’s lame joke: It isn’t news and it’s not that funny

October 9, 2009

3 News > Video > Nightline > Sneak peek at the World Cup, Maori TV-style

TV3 journalist Ali Ikram  should stick to his day job, humour is not really his bag. Let’s be blunt: Ali Ikram is not Ali G.

I’ve only just got around to checking out Ali’s Rugby World Cup “Maori TV-style” piece and well, I’m not amused.

I can only ask: “What were they thinking?”

Read the rest of this entry »

Baby herbal soup update

February 4, 2009

I’ve been watching my stats for sometime now and one of the most viewed posts and one of the most frequent google searches that brings folk to EM is “Baby Herbal Soup”.

My most recent update – 21 October 2009 – is here Baby herbal soup: the Internet for sick fc*ks, this time the email hoax has been published on a (semi)reputable news site, The Seoul Times.

My original post on this cruel and quite disgusting email hoax is currently sitting fourth on my top posts list. I’m actually quite stunned that the hoax is still in circulation and that someone (or someones) has gone to a lot of trouble to perpetuate it through a variety of websites.

[EM’s original Baby Herbal Soup post]

So, to set the record straight and in the interests of stopping gullible websurfers from falling for the simple three card trick, here’s the definitive post on why “baby herbal soup” is a hoax.

Read the rest of this entry »

Three cheers for Hone Harawira: "hip hip hooray, Howard IS a racist"

July 10, 2007

Aussie PM labelled `a racist’` – The Dominion Post

Intervention plan shows Howard ‘racist’ – Maori MP [SMH]
Thank you Hone Harawira. Thanks for having the courage to say it: John Howard is a racist. His government is racist and his actions in the Northern Territory – purportedly to stop sexual violence against children – is a grab for precious resources, particularly uranium.

One of the men in this image
is a racist bastard,
the other one said so.

The Howard government wants to make Australia a key player in the nu-killer-ization of the planet. Australia has the world’s largest reserves of recoverable uranium and global capital wants to get its hands on the stuff.

In order to do this any objections of the traditional owners must be overcome. What better way than to manufacture a moral panic as a national emergency and then militarise the place.

Speaking a couple of days ago on Maori TV, the Maori Party MP Hone Harawira compared Howard’s actions to those of the Bush regime in Iraq. Three cheers to Hone Harawira.

What’s been interesting is the apologetic way that the media has reacted to this story. It was covered on TV1 on Monday night in tones of shock and outrage: “How dare an uppity politician from the Maori party publicly declare a foreign leader to be racist?”

It’s about time and other NZ politicians should do the same as Mr Harawira and call Howard a “racist bastard”, because he surely is.

So far Howard has not commented on Mr Harawira’s outburst, but New Zealand PM Helen Clark’s office saays the comments are “regretable”. What’s regretable Prime Minister is that you won’t say it too.

today the Maori Party issued a media release calling for a special caucus meeting to discuss what Howard is up to. It’s a good idea to push this issue, but frankly I’d be surprised if the Clark government has the guts to confront Canberra on this issue. Here’s a taster of the Maori Party release, which you can read in full here:

The Maori Party Caucus today called a special caucus meeting to consider the Australian Government’s response to the report, describing it as a sledge-hammer approach – a widespread and ill-thought through attack on Aboriginal communities in Northern Territory – rather than focusing on the extremely significant situation of child sexual abuse.

Australia does have a “black history” and there is a lot of institutional racism. Unlike in New Zealand the indigenous “problem” in Australia is largely hidden in remote communities. Most Australians wouldn’t have a clue what’s really going on in the outback and, unfortunately, their ignorance is maintained by a media that is reluctant to really change Howard on this issue. However, not all Australians are troglodyte head-in-the-sand white supremacists. Here’s a song from Australian comedian Eddie Perfect, it’s perfect for John Howard.

If you want to know more about the nuclear fuel cycle in Australia (the link above is to a pro-nuclear blog site), try Nuclearfree Australia

Howard’s Indigenous plan "selective, cynical and racist"

July 2, 2007

Socialist Worker (Australia) Howard’s Indigenous plan “selective, cynical and racist”

This is a view of the Howard government that’s missing from the mainstream Australian media.

Don Imus sacking – more to come?

April 14, 2007

So there’s a fuss in the American media about racist shock-jocks and Don Imus has been sacked from his CBS gig. The Poynter Institute is one of many media organistions to weigh into this debate.
There’s another example, that’s perhaps not so well known outside Australia at least. The loud-mouthed Alan Jones, the tarnished ‘king’ of Australian talkback has also this week been found ‘guilty’ of racial incitement. His comments had much more effect than those of Don Imus.
In December 2005 Jones used his popular morning talkback show to encourage Anglo-Australians to converge on a popular Sydney beach to ‘reclaim’ it from supposed gangs of Lebanese-Australian youths.
The Australian broadcasting watchdog has found Jones breached guidelines on broadcasting racially vilifying comments. Unfortunately ACMA has so far not indicated what penalty, if any, will apply to Jones.
It’s unlikely that his employer (in which he also has shares) will sack him.
It’s also not the first time Jones has been in trouble. He was involved in the now infamous “cash for comment” scandal that rocked Australian broadcasting a few years ago. That he’s still on air is testament to the weak nature of the broadcasting laws in Australia.