Edwards on Henry

April 9th, 2009 at 4:16 pm by David Farrar

joins the blogosphere and asks what to do with Paul Henry. He looks at how Paul is loved and loathed, and I really like his conclusion:

Who’s right – his critics or his defenders? Both. Henry is an obnoxious prat.  His ego is out of control and, as a broadcaster, so is he. He has done  more than enough to deserve the boot.

BUT he is also one of the most intelligent, most incisive, most accomplished, most polished, and most entertaining broadcasters this country has ever seen.

Can’t live with him, can’t live without him.

Edwards is right. is offensive and at time obnoxious with an ego that could fuel a fleet. But he is also a genius broadcaster.

You have to accept both sides of Henry, to reconcile how you react to him.

On the issue of Stephanie Mills, there can be no doubt Henry behaved appallingly towards an invited guest. If you knew Mills personally, you would especially be outraged by what Henry did (interestingly Mills herself very sensibly did not lash out, but said it is about her issues, not her or Henry).

But while intellectually I know Henry was a brattish prat twoards Mills, I also had tears of laughter as I watched the clip of the show. When you don’t know the target personally, offensive humour can still be very very funny. And for me it wasn’t so much about Mills, but about the train wreck it caused as Henry ignored Ali and his producer, and them seems bemused by the hate mail, and even then his “Oh go from a group” reotort. It was like an episode of Borat.

I’d been having trouble reconciling my intellectual dislike of what Henry did, with my instictive hilarity at the situation. You feel guilty for laughing so loud.

But Edwards get it right, as I said. Henry is both an obnoxous prat and a great broadcaster. Don’t pretend he can be one without the other.

So what does Brian Edwards propose be done:

So what should be done with Paul? Well firstly he should be fronting Close Up. Mark Sainsbury may be a nicer person, but he isn’t a patch on Henry as a broadcaster. He stumbles his way through the programme, is often barely articulate and his interviews are a shambles. But he’s responsible and safe and Henry isn’t.

So here’s my solution.  Mark goes back to his previous job as a political editor. He was extremely good at that. Paul takes over Close Up where he is likely to beat the pants off the much nicer John Campbell. But there’s a proviso. Henry’s contract includes a ‘penny in the jar’ clause. Every time he breaches the Broadcasting Act’s standards of balance, fairness, decency or good taste, $10,000 is deducted from his salaryand donated to the Society for the Promotion of Community Standards. Should work.

Heh, I quite like that idea.

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29 Responses to “Edwards on Henry”

  1. Paul Williams (877 comments) says:

    I’m missing where he’s joined the ‘sphere? Is there a link?

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  2. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    How appalling that this notorious Klark sycophant should presume to judge and advise others on the basis that he understands the finer points of “professional broadcasting”.

    My granny says that for years, this politically bigoted disgrace to his profession brought us left wing propaganda under the guise of objective broadcasting.

    Unlike Edwards, Paul Henry is what he is. He’s not an arrogant and patronising left wing political flunky pretending to be a serious and objective broadcaster. He’s just a guy with a show.

    IMHO, Edwards can take his advice (for better or worse) and shove it.

    That aside, Henry should be free to say what he wants. You don’t like him, don’t watch.

    Is that too hard for all of the pseudo liberals who shout the same maxim from the roof tops every time there’s any kind of popular media assault on Christian values??

    Of course the real elephant in the room that the rest of the mainstream media (in their usual lying by omission style) won’t report on is that the left in this country have wanted to “get” Henry for years. This is a factor that brings much more attention to any perceived breach than would occur under normal circumstances.

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  3. Inventory2 (10,181 comments) says:

    I totally disagree DPF – I didn’t feel one iota of guilt for laughing out loud – and boy, did I laugh! And when I showed the video to Mrs Inventory, she had paroxisms of mirth as well, for which she felt neither guilt nor shame!

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  4. James (1,338 comments) says:

    I think Henry has enough fans to chip in a bit each to pay his fines in exchange for his unique comedic talents…..that Mills one was worth a few bucks to see….;-)

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  5. Circe (13 comments) says:

    Paul Henry is a loose cannon – but that’s what makes him so great to watch. You never know what’s coming next. Keep him on, say I – and promote him to Close Up so we don’t end up bored to tears. Edwards’ blog is available on http://www.brianedwardsmedia.co.nz

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  6. big bruv (13,571 comments) says:

    IV2

    Mrs Bruv did not think much of the Mills clip, however she near pissed herself when Fan Mold appeared on camera earlier this week.

    If you think Mills was bad I can assure you Mold is much much worse.

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  7. oob (194 comments) says:

    To: rick.ellis@tvnz.co.nz
    Cc: susang@heritagehotels.co.nz
    Subject: Support for Paul Henry
    Date: Mon, 30 Mar 2009 14:41:17 +1300

    Dear Mr Ellis,

    No doubt you’re currently inundated with hate mail from the great unwashed Labour/Green electorate, up in cross-eyed arms over the comments Mr Henry made concerning Stephanie Mills’ hirsuteness.

    I’d like to write in support of Mr Henry’s right to an opinion and to make such observations. Unfortunately after a decade of the luddism and communism that devastated New Zealand under the Clark regime, it seems that complaining is the best method of gaining attention. So instead of writing in support, here is my complaint;

    In my opinion, it’s inappropriate for TVNZ to be screening bearded women during breakfast television. I find it impossible to eat while television is displaying such disgusting freaks. Unkempt, unwashed and unhygienic visitors to your shows should be bathed and groomed prior to making an appearance. Please don’t invite Mr Mills or any other Green Party representative onto your shows until they are clean.

    Regards,
    oob.

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  8. dime (9,676 comments) says:

    I was a fan of Henry before i started watching him on the morning show. he is a douche.

    BUT

    the leftist is correct.. he should be replacing the ringmaster

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  9. Inventory2 (10,181 comments) says:

    PS – nor do I feel guilt for my spontaneous laughter when I read oob’s piece above – brilliant!

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  10. freethinker (686 comments) says:

    Brian Edwards is an arrogant,biased deceptive self opinionated prat but I applaud his ability to promote Paul Henry’s attributes whilst parading his own lack of charisma & objectivity – a rare talent.

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  11. transmogrifier (522 comments) says:

    Sorry, if Henry is the answer to our TV problem, we are damn well asking the wrong question. He is a giggly little superficial marshmallow on screen. He may be intelligent (I’ve never met the man), but it certainly doesn’t come across when he’s in front of the camera. I can’t imagine him fronting Close Up, because I can’t imagine him being able to stop preening long enough to pretend to care about what anyone else is saying.

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  12. Patrick Starr (3,675 comments) says:

    you’re right on the nail Redbaiter. I find Brian Edwards the most condescending of broadcasters and how dare he sit in judgement.
    Perhaps its just Edwards “premier media consultants and trainers” haven’t developed a module suitable for Henry’s style yet?

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  13. Motella (9 comments) says:

    Aunty Helen would be so proud – Trust Edwards to come up with a new type of behavioral control by “taxing” Henry.

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  14. Rex Widerstrom (5,330 comments) says:

    I’m a fan of South Park, Family Guy and similar shows… the more offensive the humour the better and if it’s having a go at some otherwise untouchable shibboleths then so much the better.

    So if Henry’s so great at it (I don’t think he is, but accept that’s just my opinion) then get him the hell off Breakfast and those of you who think he’s the height of wit can watch him struggle to be a pale imitation of Stephen Colbert and the rest of us can tune out and watch the real thing.

    The supposed purpose of the show he’s on at present is to present news and current affairs. Yet he repeatedly demonstrates his inability to do a searching interview (e.g. his sycophancy with Clark) or to grasp the depth of virtually any issue on which he’s speaking.

    That might make him a “great broadcaster”, DPF but it makes him a shithouse journalist, and that’s what he’s being paid to do.

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  15. Dazzaman (1,132 comments) says:

    What’s wrong with Paul Henry, he’s about the only talking head I can tolerate watching on New Zealand television. Brian Edwards is right about one thing, Henry should be doing Close Up, the “moustache” almost makes me want to watch Shortland Street :puke:

    Fortunately, I have not yet succumbed!

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  16. paradigm (507 comments) says:

    “Every time he breaches the Broadcasting Act’s standards of balance, fairness, decency or good taste, $10,000 is deducted from his salary and donated to the Society for the Promotion of Community Standards.”

    Not a good idea from where I’m sitting. Henry being un-PC is one of the central attractions to watching him. You try to fiscally castrate him, all you’ll be left with is another John Campbell. How about this: those who are easily offended, please watch the bland and irrelevant TV3 morning show. Freedom to choose and all that stuff.

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  17. Brian Smaller (4,028 comments) says:

    The funniest thing in this whole episode is a monumental ego-driven prat like Bryan Edwards saying that Henry has a big ego.

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  18. aladin (55 comments) says:

    DPF says: “When you don’t know the target personally, offensive humour can still be very very funny.”

    Well, I’m happy to say that I and my friends don’t know have to know a ‘target’ personally to realise the difference between ‘offensive humour’ (that comment in itself is very weird) and being a dork.

    That’s called ‘laughing at someone else’s expense’ which we all know is cowardly, childish and is the cause of all sort of problems. Plain stupid.

    Kind Regards, Linda

    [DPF: Almost all humour is at someone's expense.]

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  19. clintheine (1,568 comments) says:

    Zzzz Brian Edwards is beating a dead horse, old news. Attacking somebody who in realistic terms is considered 100 times more respected than him is a bit weak and only shows he is desperate to be on the anti Paul bandwagon.

    All clever bloggers supported Henry on the day that this actually happened. The only people who are talking about it now are the Hand Mirror and Edwards…. and that says a lot :)

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  20. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    The people that denounce Mr Henry are the same people that use to make most of the calls in our society, in other words they are the moaning moles that can not be impregnated. Mr Henry should not bow to the false crocodile tears from the liberal poofs. Mr Henry could have been accused of been impolite, as Miss?Mrs Mills was at least willing to be interviewed but I have lived long enough to know that he who laughs first usually does not to get to laugh last, Miss, Mr, Mrs Mills and the liberal left should realise this.

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  21. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,820 comments) says:

    This from the same Brian Edwards who on election night had a fixation with saying “Ditch the Bitch” while alternating between sucking lemons and knocking back the sour grapes.

    He had quite the indigestion that night. :lol:

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  22. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,820 comments) says:

    Motella says on April 9th, 2009 at 6:08 pm:

    Trust Edwards to come up with a new type of behavioral control by “taxing” Henry.

    Agreed.

    Strange he doesn’t apply the same standards to Helen Clark. If she was taxed a dollar of her pay for ever “poor” person who dies on her watch from “poverty” while at her new UN role then she wouldn’t be able to pay the fines even after her six houses were sold.

    Such is the inevitable predictability of her failure to achieve any kind of results at the UN beyond that of keeping people poor and dependent. Kind of like New Zealand really.

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  23. mara (752 comments) says:

    Years ago, I heard Brian Edwards being garrotted by Dr Eric Geiringer on radio. I know who was the brighter. I believe Edwards has an ego problem as well as being wrong on this occasion. If Henry didn’t do what he does, and we were left with his decorative, wimpy sidekick, the morning program’s audience would be reduced to 10 dear old folk at the Golden Showers Resthome for the Terminally Optimistic. One doesn’t have to like Henry, but he does a fair job.

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  24. Robert Black (423 comments) says:

    Out with the old and in with the new, the changing wind of New Zealand and its embarrassing status and frontspeople and judgemental, closed and narrow mindedness.

    Out: Paul Homes, Brian Edwards, Keith Quinn (the big popos), Mark Ellis, Mathew Ridge, that loser who beat his wife…

    Refreshing.

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  25. John Ansell (874 comments) says:

    Paul is a great broadcaster, and so is Edwards.

    Put them on together.

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  26. ross (1,454 comments) says:

    Edwards says that Henry ought to cough up 10K every time a breach is found over something he says. But that seems to presuppose that TVNZ has been stung before over comments he’s made. Where is the evidence of that? Is TVNZ going to be stung over the Mills affair? I doubt it. And why should Henry pay $10,000 when even TVNZ is not liable for that kind of punishment by the BSA?

    I am not a fan of Henry at all but neither am I a fan of Edwards.

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  27. ross (1,454 comments) says:

    > [DPF: Almost all humour is at someone's expense.]

    Clearly, you’ve never watched an episode of Seinfeld, David, or heard of the term “situational humour”.

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  28. ross (1,454 comments) says:

    I’ve quickly trawled past decisions of te BSA and can’t find a single one where a complaint against Henry has been upeld http://www.bsa.govt.nz/latestdecisions.php. Sure there have been a few complaints about Henry that have been decided by the BSA but not many. So Edwards’ idea to fine Henry would seem to have little impact, unless of course Edwards is proposing that Henry be fined irrespective of any decision by the BSA.

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  29. tallpoppybasher (11 comments) says:

    what intellectual nonsense, Paul Henry is entertaining, alongside his straight sidekicks, I remember in the early 70s a certain type of young woman had upper lip hair, the noticeable ones were the brunettes, I remember one certain young woman at my youth club being cajoled by a young upstart to embarress her in font of the class, she brushed him off casually, its not new and its something you would need to ask of the person who sports xtra hair, lots of men grow hair from their noses and earholes, and im sure that would send most women to their heels with that advancing towards them.

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