Scoop Reader Survey: Should Paul Holmes Be Sacked?
New Zealand broadcast don Paul Holmes last week raged-racist against United Nations secretary general Kofi Annan, calling him a “Cheeky Darkie” on Holmes’ morning Newstalk ZB radio show. The mind-filth was certainly a low and demoralizing point in the broadcaster’s career but more disturbing was a display that New Zealand’s mainstream broadcast media standards are truly woeful.
Holmes’ rant was most frenzied – at times verging on aggressive, like he had got on to something, and once on, and the accelerator was applied, he couldn’t get off, out of control.
Domestic New Zealand readers will need no introduction to who Paul Holmes is nor his perceived standing among those at the top of New Zealand’s mainstream broadcasters. For international readers, Paul Holmes is perhaps New Zealand’s version, albeit a cringing one, of the USA’s Larry King.
At this point it is proper to listen to the rubbish straight from Holmes’ mouth. But the Scoop editors warn, the content is ridiculously shallow, and best observed as the wanderings of a confused, sick, and insecure ego.
Holmes’ consequential apology ranks perhaps second in sickness, arguably a parody of those who soundly possess moral indignation and respect for peoples irrespective of their origin, creed, or religion.
For those who cannot stand Holmes’ voice, here is a transcribed synopsis of his tripe:
* Holmes: “When do the United Nations actually do anything? When do they actually do anything except get paid well ... get off a plane and sit on their jacksons?
* "That Kofi Annan, I've got to say to you, has been a very cheeky darkie overnight. He's been a very cheeky darkie. It's all very well giving a darkie that secretary-general job but we'll only take so much [laughs] I'm sorry, we will only take so much.
* "We're not going to be told how to live our lives by a Ghanaian. They're a model aren't they, to how to live your life, to how to run a country. Mr Nkrumah, remember him ... 1957 the Prime Minister of Ghana ... We're not going to be told by a Ghanaian too much.
* "Mr Annan says the collectivity of the United Nations kept the peace for 58 years. Hang on a minute about that 58 years. Where does Mr Annan get that idea? Where does that darkie bloke get that idea? What about the oppressed states of Eastern Europe for 50 years who endured the Communist boot for 50 years? What about the heart of Africa? How much peace was kept there? The nuclear bombs kept the peace for 58 years in states like Russia and France.
* "That Mr Kofi Annan. That cheeky darkie should ask the people of Rwanda how the United Nations kept the peace for 58 years. The people of the Congo or the people of Zimbabwe or the oppressed people of South Africa or the people of Mozambique, Angola, Sudan, Somalia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Bosnia, Kosovo. They had peace for 58 years? You've got to think about what these people say, this is nonsense." Holmes to Brian Edwards: “Do you think it's making our journalism ignorant and bitchy do you think?
* Edwards: No, I don't think so. I think it's unfortunate if you have a significant imbalance in any profession. I think the journalism profession ought to represent the reality of the society around it. And if women are outnumbering men two to one, you do have some sort of imbalance there ...
* Holmes: At certain times of the month, do the newspapers get particularly judgmental? (Both laugh).
* Edwards: Oh, you are in trouble. You are in desperate trouble for saying something like that.
* "I've been conducting a test. Someone phoned up and said I'm Hitler. I tell you, I'm not Hitler because I wouldn't keep records. (Pause and then he laughs).
* "Anyway, I've been conducting a test. You see I called Kofi Annan a darkie this morning and people have been phoning up and complaining and moaning and yelling about it this morning.
* "All you've been complaining about is my position on the UN is wrong, or my position on Bush is wrong, or my position on Iraq is wrong.
* “Of all the calls we've had, only two people have objected to me calling him a darkie. "You've failed very, very badly.
* "I put this on in anticipation of a complaint to the Broadcasting Standards Authority. Have a nice day ... I think I've done enough damage."
Any reasonable minded person would expect Holmes to be stood down pending the outcome of an ‘internal’ investigation. But there’s no chance at NewstalkZB where he reigns supreme.
NewstalkZB has continued to allow Holmes to self obsess on air – its lack of action drawing criticism from New Zealand Race Relations Conciliator, Joris de Bres. He said: "It was obviously not closed in the minds of the public and the station could not just move on and disregard the reasons for the public outcry.”
Television New Zealand’s dilemma is accentuated due to it having not broadcast the absurd commentary, and also that it has a significant and high ranking segment of its news programming carrying the name of the disgraced presenter Homes.
And at TVNZ on Monday it lost Holmes Show sponsor Mitsubishi with the company citing issues of principle as the cause. TVNZ then issued this response: “Paul Holmes is widely acknowledged as the country's leading broadcaster, he has been a loyal employee of the company for the past 14 years and continues to front his nightly show on TV ONE. TVNZ condemns the comments he made on radio last week, a statement made outside TVNZ's domain.”
Later on the Holmes Show, Holmes drew in a persona akin to the lead character on that movie ‘Broadcast News’ to wallow: “I have reached down the barrel of the camera for 15 years, presenting stories of New Zealanders going through triumph and despair… I was tired and I went too far.”
But the Scoop Editors ask who really relates to this crap? What to you the readers think? Should Holmes be sacked?
For background on this issue see…
Holmes Sponsorship Decision Reflects Public Opinion - The decision by Mitsubishi Motors to withdraw its sponsorship of the Holmes show on TVNZ is in line with the strong public feeling on the issue, Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres said today. See... Mitsubishi decision reflects depth of public feeling
- Mitsubishi - Mitsubishi Withdraws from Holmes Show Sponsorship
- TVNZ - TVNZ Responds To Mitsubishi Withdrawal
- PI Media Association - Support Holmes Show Producer’s Resignation
- Greens - Why does the news need a sponsor?
Holmes ZB Audio: