Celebrity Outrage: It’s Sad. So Sad

CAPTION: Last week’s Canvas story talked about Paul Henry “unleashed”.

The Radio New Zealand MediaWatch programme made some astute observations today about the state of New Zealand media; the hyping of studied outrage and the symbiotic relationship between TV and print. Last week the Weekend Herald’s quality liftout magazine promoted some typically inflammatory comments during a promotional interview.unknown-54

It seems clear to me that Henry and MediaWorks fed Canvas outrageous comments to drive publicity. It seems to have worked. With a senior feature writer and an enthusiastic publicist in tow.Henry referred to a fellow diner about her “perfect breasts” and referred to titties.

I have no gripe with the journalist  – Greg Bruce – who is a very good writer with a unique style. This is the commercial news or entertainment.  But in the past I believe a quality publication like Canvas would have tried to point out the story is artificial. He was not unleashed. Henry is allowed to roam free and extract rubbish from bins.

I can remember in 2009 when I interviewed Henry about his role promoting psychic Deb Webber to find a missing child, Aisling Syme, He gave me a back-handed complimen. He liked me because I said things I did not believe I don’t agree. But that is his take. It’s all a game.

The great thing about media is that it has a ready-made promotional machine and celebrity offensiveness is instantly familiar to the public.

Feminist pundit Lizzie Marvelly dropped her scheduled role on a Henry show panel.
Feminist pundit Lizzie Marvelly dropped her scheduled role on a Henry show panel.

That means media stories can quickly take off and they can be extended to increase the number of clicks.That is why there are so many media stories now that there is such a lot of online news content. To be honest I was a little disappointed in Henry.It seemed like he had moved beyond the shock jock persona where he needed to use words like titties to get attention. He is better than that. What is it that Donald Trump says?

Sad. So Sad.



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