Paul Henry. Anyone outside of New Zealand will have no idea. Anyone inside New Zealand knows he's an odious little man, who hosts TVNZ's breakfast program, who can be quite offensive and is quick with a template apology. Still there's no law against being offensive and most of the time he can be dismissed.
Yesterday was a line crossed though. Asking our Prime Minister (who's response was pretty pathetic) if Sir Anand Satyanand was a "real" New Zealander on national TV. Offensive enough, and I think, due cause for TVNZ to let him go. Do they? No. I'm not sure which I find more offensive, Henry's implication that Sir Anand doesn't look like and is thus not a "real" New Zealander or TVNZ coming out and saying that this is what we all think but just don't say.
We know Henry is a dick. But for some PR hack (Andi Brotherston by name) at the state broadcaster to imply that I also agree with this pathetic little racist is just ... infuriating.
It's not often things in New Zealand's public sphere get me worked up. This is one of those times though.
This is not about free speech. There is nothing illegal in what Henry has done. No charges can or should be brought against him. Just because there it is not illegal though, does not mean that the state broadcaster (or anyone for that matter) should meekly accept it and continue to give the man a platform from which to spout. It is possible to disapprove of and refuse to endorse legal statements.