There is a typical over-reaction to the current news of a TV presenter Paul Henry making some pretty controversial statements on his Breakfast TVNZ program in NZ. The host is supposed to be provocative and with respect to this show, political correctness goes out the window. The program really does appeal to the red-necks who hark back to the old days of NZ pride. Those days will not be revisited for probably another 2 decades, however it does auger well for better TV content is such persecution of minorities is not encouraged, and not given a voice.
The question you might ask is - was it his fault? Or does the greater responsibility lie with the host. Was he not employed to be provocative. Previously on his show, the host had disparaged gays, and other minorities. Does this not reflect on a section in the NZ community whom TVNZ is obviously targeting. Only TVNZ knows how lucrative this market is. It must be retaining the program for a reason. mind you - his attitudes need not reflect their racial views. He might simply resonate with viewers because he speaks his mind.
Collectivism is the dominant global value system. Do not expect racial prejudice to disappear as long as that remains a reality. Collectivists have a group identity, whether its NZ or Indian pride, and NZ has a higher proportion of collectivists than NZ, because its ideological base and lower literacy rates support that premise.
The bigger issue is - who is responsible. I actually think it is the TVNZ executives who ought to lose their job. They have committed the greater indiscretion by allowing the show to continue in its current mode. They ought to have reflected on the content, and adopted some standards. Did the program need to be live? It was very careless of them to have enabled this 'shock jock'. I think he was doing as he was paid to do. He ought to be counselled into changing his ways, but ultimately it is TVNZ which ought to be subject to reprimand here, not the TV host. This is not however the focus on media journalists. They chase the bone.
One has to ask what is the problem? Racial prejudice in NZ? What is new? Is it new to India either? Come on...there is no story here. Its no more significant that my neighbour being prejudiced. Ask yourself how many racists are in 'collectivist' India, not withstanding a significant number of individualists there.
I think it is hard to censure every thought you make on TV, on a live program. The response of the govt-owned broadcaster, was more serious because they had the opportunity to reflect on his comments.
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