Oh Henry #2: Don’t shoot the messenger, but what will Beeza do?

October 7, 2010

It would be a travesty if TVNZ publicist Andi Brotherston is obliged to fall on her sword in the Paul Henry broohaha.

Brotherston made the now infamous comment that Henry was expressing what we all think, but are too scared to voice when he made racist comments about the New Zealand governor general.

She subsequently apologised in an email to TVNZ staff and now, inevitably, the email is in the public domain and Brotherston is taking the heat. This is a shame, Paul Henry has been allowed to slink off to wait it out under whichever muddy rock he currently calls home, but Brotherston is blowing in the wind and the story today is all about her.

The real issue here has to be what will Beeza do? So far Henry’s been suspended for two weeks by TVNZ, but he’ll be back on air soon enough and that will be don’t miss car crash TV. How long will the ill-tempered tosser be able to bite his tongue before bursting into glorious flaming wreckage? Let’s hope that this latest gaffe is enough to sink forever his chances of taking over from the talking moustache on Close Up.

But you know, I’ve just reviewed some Beeza cases against Henry over the past few years and most of the time he gets away with it and TVNZ is in there fighting for his right to be offensive. As they say: “That’s entertainment”. Actually, it’s not, as you will see…if you get to the end of this long post.

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Toxin Avenger – SST on the money

May 28, 2008

A very good story in the Sunday Star Times last weekend (25 May) about the trials and tribulations endured by TV3 investigative reporter Melanie Reid in her battle to defend a documentary she made in 2006 about dioxin pollution in Paritutu, near New Plymouth.

Adam Dudding’s feature laid out Reid’s fight with the Ministry of Health and the Institute of Environmental Science and Research (ESR). The government agencies claimed that Reid’s story was unbalanced, based on “bad” science, was misleadingly edited and used theme music designed to influence viewers (I’m not kidding about this). The Ministry and the ESR complained to the Broadcasting Standards Authority on the grounds of balance, accuracy and bias. It’s a salutory example of regulatory difficulties in the area of balance and bias. How can the BSA board rule effectively on such a complex case that rests on contradictory scientific claim and counter-claim? Read the rest of this entry »