The Dim-Post

February 18, 2012

Tactical retreat

Filed under: general idiocy — danylmc @ 7:53 pm

Paul Holmes has a column about his Waitangi Day column, a controversial, epic rant against the Maori race. He defends himself thusly:

But let me tell you this. While the objections to what I said have been strident, so has the support for what I wrote been immense. I’ve never had such reaction to a column nor had so much unsought support or affirmation. And I would suggest that what I wrote is what most people think but don’t dare say.

If you take almost any extreme position – the abolition of private property, or the execution of homosexuals, say – you’re going to get a clutch of lunatics who feel strongly about the issue writing in to support you and cheer you for taking on the spectral forces of political correctness, or international capitalism, or whoever they think rules the world. That doesn’t bolster your argument. What does is your willingness to stand by your words and argue them persuasively, and the fact that Holmes has revised his original position, in which he claims Maori are all fat, lazy child abusers, to:

I suggest there is anything negative about the way we commemorate Waitangi Day or suggest that the annual agitation there is putting many people off caring two hoots about it.

A racist and a coward. Classy. I’m not going to be watching Q & A – Paul Holmes’ political show – when it starts running again. Partly because I think he’s a rubbish interviewer, and I’ve got better things to do on a Sunday morning than watch Holmes mis-read questions off a cue card and then let his tiny, red eyes glaze over while his interview subject answers. But also because this might be the only chance I have to boycott a TVNZ show because of their penchant for racist hosts, since it’s the only thing they screen I might actually watch.

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46 Comments »

  1. Perhaps you should just listen sometimes. And learn.

    Comment by Stephen — February 18, 2012 @ 8:28 pm

  2. I have nothing more to add at this time Danyl, except that I’ll join you in finding something more pleasant to do on a Sunday morning than watch our nation’s favourite bigot du jour. You said it all!

    Comment by Kathryn Dick — February 18, 2012 @ 8:46 pm

  3. Both of Holme’s columns were not very flash. But he did highlight and reveal heaps of dissatisfaction with Waitangi Day. I think a lot of people are capable of differentiating between a loud Maori minority and a very diverse Maori in general. And a lot of people are fed up with the Waitangi part of Waitangi day. It’s apparent that even organisers of the Waitangi event are annoyed at their good work being overshadowed by a few publicity seekers.

    There are some blatant rascists, hard to know what proportion. But there are also ordinary people who see Waitangi Day as hijacked by protesters of convenience, currently largely associated with and possibly organised by the Mana Party. I don’t think it’s rascist to not care for the approach of a few.

    Comment by Pete George — February 18, 2012 @ 9:12 pm

  4. From Wikipedia:

    “In March 1987, Holmes took over from 1ZB host Merv Smith, who had been breakfast host for many years. This coincided with a change in format from community radio (middle of the road music, news, community notices etc.) to newstalk. The change was controversial, as many long-standing Smith listeners did not like Holmes or the news, interview and talkback format with no music. 1ZB fell to seventh position in the ratings and it took over a year before Holmes’ show eventually rose to number one in the ratings for the programme’s time slot.

    “In 1989, Holmes became part of the younger, new-look revamp of Television New Zealand’s prime-time news. His 7pm network programme (simply titled Holmes, initially starting at 6:30 and later moving to 7:00 when the news was extended to one hour), analysing news items in greater depth, {sic]….”

    I remember the promotion of the forthcoming TV show via a full page photo of Holmes in the newspaper. I was so annoyed at the prospect of his dumbing down TV current affairs, I defaced the picture and sent it to TVNZ. Nothing he’s done since has changed my poor opinion of him. Surely only cronyism could keep such a poseur in the spotlight for so long.

    For good current affairs interviewing, there’s no one better than Julian Wilcox on Maori Television, IMO.

    Comment by Laura — February 18, 2012 @ 9:38 pm

  5. I know of hardly anyone who feels that Waitangi is worth the hastle. Its certainly not regarded by any of them as a national day and to be frank – they are all pissed off at the endless wailing and moaning.

    Comment by barry — February 18, 2012 @ 9:46 pm

  6. @ Pete George @3.

    “Both of Holme’s columns were not very flash…………… ”
    Understatement but correct.

    “But he did highlight and reveal heaps of dissatisfaction with Waitangi Day……………………”
    Sounded like just like any other racist fuckwit to me.

    “I think a lot of people are capable of differentiating between a loud Maori minority and a very diverse Maori in general.”
    Paul H obviously cant differentiate between an unfortunate Maori minority and a very diverse Maori in general – why on earth are we listening to this old troll.

    “And a lot of people are fed up with the Waitangi part of Waitangi day.”
    Just give them a seperate holiday then – call it “head in the sand day”

    ” It’s apparent that even organisers of the Waitangi event are annoyed at their good work being overshadowed by a few publicity seekers”
    Methinks they should be more concerned about having their day annulled by the Nats than appeasing the syccophants in the media and playing at being RWC opening ceremony #2

    Comment by Campbell Larsen — February 18, 2012 @ 10:16 pm

  7. I know of hardly anyone who feels that ANZAC day is worth the hassle. It’s certainly not regarded by any of them as a day of remembrance and to be frank, they are all pissed off at the endless myth making blather about it being the crucible that formed our nation.

    Comment by Gregor W — February 18, 2012 @ 10:28 pm

  8. #1. Piss off.

    Comment by stephen — February 18, 2012 @ 10:32 pm

  9. Interesting quote Laura. I think I remember an article which correlated Holmes’ outbursts…’cheeky darkie’ et al with ratings cycles.
    Native affairs deserves a much bigger audience.

    Comment by Peter Martin — February 18, 2012 @ 10:59 pm

  10. Your comments seem to contain a lot of…’a lot of’ Pete George. Can you quantify ‘a lot of’? It strikes me that yer appealing to common practice just a bit too much…

    Comment by Peter Martin — February 18, 2012 @ 11:13 pm

  11. @#10

    he’s in untied future. they deal in common sense not statistics.

    let’s just say that a lot of “sensible” people aren’t racist but that a lot of ordinary kiwi battlers do hate those few maoris who won’t shut up about their past grievances and behave the way we right-minded people think they should.

    Comment by nommopilot — February 18, 2012 @ 11:37 pm

  12. You know, I am not a violent man, and I detest violent rhetoric on the internet. But there is an almost irrepressible impulse in me to pie Mr George.

    Comment by Keir — February 19, 2012 @ 1:25 am

  13. Obviously Holmes is a complete go-tard, but I’m in favour of as many public holidays as possible. The French have the right idea. Leaving the jumped-up militarism and lachrimose sentimentality of ANZAC Day well enough alone, the following perfectly good days are just languishing down the far end of the calender practically begging to be made an ersatz national holiday:
    – 26 September, Dominion Day
    – 19 September, Suffrage (White Camelia) Day
    – 5 November, Storming of Parihaka (Holmes will like this one)
    – 10 July, Rainbow Warrior Day
    – 9 July, Homosexual Law Reform Anniversary
    – 7 October, Cook Sails in Sight of New Zealand, Ship’s Boy Nicholas Young Wins Prize of a Gallon of Rum, New Zealand’s Youth Drinking Problem Begins Day

    Comment by Higgs Boatswain — February 19, 2012 @ 4:27 am

  14. We turned the television off completely when our grandchildren stayed over the school holidays and it hasn’t been turned back on since ( 28 Dec) Before that we maybe watched the news sporadically, switching channels everytime a banal topic came up or a report was too biased to bear. 10 minutes tops. Lots of channel switching. TV is dead, killed by its own hand. Paul Holmes is a silly old man, best ignored.

    Comment by sunny — February 19, 2012 @ 5:55 am

  15. it’s barbed is it not? We are invited to consider Holmes a racist, which then precludes any acceptance or engagement with his statements or sentiments by right thinking people. Further to this we are invited to so the same to anyone who may agree with him, likening this to something like paedophilia, perhaps. For the record I do not agree with Holmes, but I find his existence fascinating, and perhaps worth preserving, like an insect that lays its eggs in other creatures. He is part of teh food-chain, and has a value, despite being a horrible creature. However, I think it’s worthwhile asking what ‘kind’ of racist Holmes is meant to be – is he the defacing headstones in Jewish cemeteries type, or the card-carrying hate-group type? Nope. He’s the ‘old fashioned type’ who happens to get a slot in our national newspaper.

    So in a way he represents a kind of ‘normalised’ racism, and therefore could be seen as having rather a large number of people who agree with him. Should they all be similarly denied a hearing because I (for instance) may not agree with them? To make this claim wold make even the act of blogging an hypocritical stance.

    This being the case, and a galling as it is, Holmes requires a hearing, in the same way that Hone Harawira does. If it makes it easier, stop thinking of Holmes as a bigoted white guy, and start thinking of him as a representative of a minority. Then, having received equal treatment as say Margaret Mutu when she issues some wing-nut statement, we can start perhaps to discuss why these people are out there, formulating their views and purporting to be ‘representative’ of some apparently invisible constituency?

    Because, we might argue that the ‘visible’ types of racists tend only to emerge when they feel other forms of expression have been suppressed. As painful as it may be to consider, having the likes of ‘cheeky darkie’ Holmes might be as good as it gets in this proud nation, and he might be necessary to the food-chain.

    Comment by Eric Blair — February 19, 2012 @ 7:20 am

  16. Higgs Boatswain = heh – +1

    Comment by Cnr Joe — February 19, 2012 @ 8:41 am

  17. Higg’s Boatswain – I support all of these.

    Did anyone read Hone’s rebuttal of Holmes in the Herald? Jolly good. Perhaps now that he is free of the Maori Party he will settle down a bit and take over from Winston as the headline grabbing opposition MP of note. That, or he could just have melt downs every few months and disaffect everyone.

    Comment by John-Paul — February 19, 2012 @ 9:12 am

  18. “the abolition of private property, or the execution of homosexuals, say – you’re going to get a clutch of lunatics who feel strongly about the issue”

    Really Danyl? I find it “extreme” that you could put the far left in the same group of the far right fascists “lunatics” or extreme religious groups who would support the execution of homosexuals. There is no doubt about it that the abolition of private property is not a mainstream view but they are certainly not similar to those irrational, violent groups.

    Comment by K2 — February 19, 2012 @ 9:25 am

  19. @K2: “There is no doubt about it that the abolition of private property is not a mainstream view but they are certainly not similar to those irrational, violent groups.”

    I suspect the various victims of Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot et al might beg to differ, if they weren’t dead.

    And yes, yes, I know these weren’t “real” socialists and represent a perversion of “true” socialist doctrine … but it’s just that such dogmas have a nasty tendency to end up with lots of dead people when they don’t play out in the real world like they were meant to on the page. I mean, just how exactly do you propose stopping acts of capitalism between consenting adults without breaking a few eggs?

    Comment by Grassed Up — February 19, 2012 @ 9:50 am

  20. Julian Wilcox on Maori Television is indeed a great interviewer. Never spiteful or smarmy. Good humored, insightful and lets the questioned time to answer. Brilliant. In recent times John Campbell has some excellent interviews and increased the depth of the investigations. (Ignore the obsequious famous people interviews.) The few times that I have seen Paul Holmes in Q&A I was appalled at his total lack of connection with any non-Key subject. What a weirdo!” His rant was not surprising. Those little grey cells wear out into a sloppy jelly-like mass you know.

    Comment by ianmac — February 19, 2012 @ 10:45 am

  21. A rant it was and now you trying taint him as a racist.
    The blunt instrument of choice for any one trying to close down comment usually used with bigot.
    Just ask Maurice Williamson

    Comment by Minto58 — February 19, 2012 @ 11:05 am

  22. Many people might agree with me that Mr Holmes would be vastly improved by a sharp nudge into the path of an oncoming bus.

    Somehow, I don’t see The Herald publishing a column that Mr Holmes (and his lawyers) might reasonably interpret as incitement to attempted murder. So, sorry Paul, “I’m just saying what everyone thinks” is a turkey that won’t fly.

    @John-Paul: Yes, I did read Hone Harawira and Willie Jackson’s stirring pleas for good taste, respect for basic matters of fact and a less troll-ish approach to race relations in the media. What next? Madonna condemns Lady Gaga as a talentless exhibitionist who never had an original thought in her attention-whoring life?

    Comment by Craig Ranapia — February 19, 2012 @ 11:08 am

  23. what I find most objectionable thing about Homles is it’s always about him. He’s continually playing martyr and/or hero with one eye in the mirror.

    I know these weren’t “real” socialists and represent a perversion of “true” socialist doctrine …

    how many times i’ve seen it argued that the atrocities commited by left wing dictatorships really have nothing to to with left wing dogma, to the extent that those dictators weren’t really left wing.

    Even if it were the case that Stalin et al were actually right wing it’s still not very reassuring since it suggests that left wing movements are almost enivitably taken over by rght wing sociopaths all the while maintining support with the majority of the rank and file. Still good reason to be as much alarmed by left wing dogma as with right wing dogma.

    Comment by NeilM — February 19, 2012 @ 11:12 am

  24. I particularly like the contrast between this comment in the second column “These things are hard to make progress on, of course, but we’ve got to work together because we’re in this together. We’ve got to look after each other.”

    as opposed to this

    “Never mind the child stats, never mind the national truancy stats, never mind the hopeless failure of Maori to educate their children and stop them bashing their babies. No, it’s all the Pakeha’s fault. It’s all about hating whitey. ”

    Do as I say, not as I do eh Paul?

    Comment by Amy — February 19, 2012 @ 11:17 am

  25. Tedious tangents aside, let’s address Danyl’s main point:

    Would a Paul Holmes be presenting the equivalent of Q & A in any other comparable democracy? Would he conduct interviews on the flagship Sunday show on the BBC, ABC, CBC … on any self-respecting national network, anywhere? If the answer is “How about Fox!!11!” – case closed.

    It’s not just that he’s a washed-up third-rate bigot and bore. Quite simply, he isn’t any good. He can’t handle Interviewing 101. Nobody else would have him. So why should we?

    Sunday tabloid hacks who recycle thought-free drivel are found in every democracy, and they’re part of a free press. But we don’t have to give them Jeremy Paxman’s job.

    Comment by sammy 2.0 — February 19, 2012 @ 11:18 am

  26. I dislike his constantly playing hero and/or martyr. Telling us truths we don’t want to hear etc always with one eye in the mirror.

    Comment by NeilM — February 19, 2012 @ 11:19 am

  27. I know these weren’t “real” socialists and represent a perversion of “true” socialist doctrine …

    That’s right, it’s just that radical left wing movements almost always get taken over by a right wing sociopath all the while maintaining the slavish support of the vast majority of the rank and file. A shift of repsonsibility that really doens’t make any sense and is not particularly reassuring about left wing dogma.

    Comment by NeilM — February 19, 2012 @ 11:23 am

  28. I know these weren’t “real” socialists and represent a perversion of “true” socialist doctrine …

    That’s right, it’s just that radical left wing movements almost always get taken over by a right wing sociopath all the while maintaining the slavish support of the vast majority of the rank and file. A shift of repsonsibility that really doens’t make any sense and is not particularly reassuring about left wing dogma.

    (aplogies if this is a repeated post, seems to be some trouble with posting)

    Comment by NeilM — February 19, 2012 @ 11:24 am

  29. I know these weren’t “real” socialists and represent a perversion of “true” socialist doctrine …

    That’s right, it’s just that radical left wing movements almost always get taken over by a right wing sociopath all the while maintaining the slavish support of the vast majority of the rank and file. A shift in repsonsibility that really doens’t make any sense and is not particularly reassuring about left wing dogma.

    (apologies if this is a repeated post, seems to be some trouble with posting)

    Comment by NeilM — February 19, 2012 @ 11:32 am

  30. I know these weren’t “real” socialists and represent a perversion of “true” socialist doctrine …

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/feb/17/eugenics-skeleton-rattles-loudest-closet-left

    Comment by NeilM — February 19, 2012 @ 11:57 am

  31. I dislike his constantly playing hero and/or martyr. Telling us truths we don’t want to hear etc always with one eye in the mirror.

    I haven’t read his book on Erebus, but if anyone has, I’d be interested to hear if there was actually anything new in there to justify the circus of self-regard that went around the book (via Holmes’ newspaper columns and radio coverage etc…). My initial guess is there isn’t but I’d be happy to be proved wrong.

    Comment by Sam F — February 19, 2012 @ 1:31 pm

  32. @26:

    “Russia had a small but flourishing eugenics movement before the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. With the advent of the Communist regime, some biologists hoped that the application of scientific principles to reproductive policies, as to agriculture, would receive official support. But many Soviet biologists, recognizing that complex human behaviors and social values cannot be ascribed to genes in any clear way, found the claims of Western eugenicists naive and class-based. Moreover the “hard” hereditarian line promoted by most Western eugenicists was at odds with the Communist views of the malleability of human nature and thus appeared to provide no role for the environment in shaping human destiny. The Central Committee of the Communist Party outlawed work on eugenics in 1930, making the Soviet Union the only country where eugenics was officially denounced by governmental legislation.”

    http://science.jrank.org/pages/9250/Eugenics-Criticisms-Eugenics.html

    Comment by kalelovil — February 19, 2012 @ 1:34 pm

  33. Having never watched Q&A, I had assumed it was targeted at people who liked Paul’s level of style and classiness, just like Holmes was. TV lives and dies by audience ratings and advertisers willingness to pay for slots – remember the claim that advertisers paid for Paul’s $700K salary?. Perhaps Q&A’s audience ratings may even go up as his fellow travellers decide to watch it, and new advertisers rush to sell male hair dye, sexual health products, elevated shoes, straitjackets etc. etc. Sunday mornings spent watching political commentary seems a waste of peacetime.

    Comment by Bruce Hamilton — February 19, 2012 @ 1:50 pm

  34. You guys are feeding him.

    Comment by stephen — February 19, 2012 @ 1:53 pm

  35. See the reason Paul writes such terribly racist trash about Maori is that some PC feminazi on the radio took away his right to say “darkie, darkie, darkie“.

    Imagine how much more honest and upfront he’d be if we just let Paul write using the word “nigger”?

    Comment by Oh Busby — February 19, 2012 @ 1:53 pm

  36. @ #29. Q + A plays on a Sunday morning, so doesn’t have any advertising during the programme.

    Comment by sheriff — February 19, 2012 @ 2:39 pm

  37. Holmes and TVNZ will be utterly shattered to hear that you are going to stop watching their crap on Sunday mornings Danyl.

    Where will it all end?

    Comment by Johnboy — February 19, 2012 @ 4:45 pm

  38. #30: There are no Klansmen in NZ, only those who want to secure the existence of their people and a future for NZ children.

    Comment by DeepRed — February 19, 2012 @ 7:44 pm

  39. I think to be a racist you have to have form.

    Does anyone else remember “cheeky darky” and Kofi Anan?

    Aside: wonderful response to the whole Kofi Anan thing from Karlo Mila: http://www.nzepc.auckland.ac.nz/pasifika/mila6.asp

    Comment by Tim — February 19, 2012 @ 8:09 pm

  40. @28

    Ironic then it was in the realm of plant genetics that so much suffering was caused via Lysenko.

    Comment by NeilM — February 19, 2012 @ 11:49 pm

  41. Would a Paul Holmes be presenting the equivalent of Q & A in any other comparable democracy?

    Sammy 2.0: Yes. I don’t think the “comparable flagship shows” on the BBC and ABC are that impressive either and when you say things like “case closed” I’m tempted to respond “what is that awful smell of bullshit.”

    Comment by Craig Ranapia — February 20, 2012 @ 12:46 am

  42. “I’m not going to be watching Q & A – Paul Holmes’ political show – when it starts running again.”

    So up until now you’ve been watching his stuff? Fascinating.

    Comment by Hugh — February 20, 2012 @ 4:31 pm

  43. It’s all living in the past innnit? Has to be about looking to the future.

    http://nowoccupy.blogspot.com/2012/02/face-off-is-paul-holmes-arse.html

    Comment by Monique Angel (@Orcs2Elves) — February 21, 2012 @ 9:20 am

  44. > Did anyone read Hone’s rebuttal of Holmes in the Herald?

    I don’t think many here would have, because Hone is a racist and it’s not acceptable to read the rantings of a racist.

    Comment by Ross — February 21, 2012 @ 11:38 am

  45. When Paul Holmes first came to prominence it was a quarter of a century ago. He was still a youngish man when Holmes debuted on TVNZ. He was once an excellent journalist – or at least, a journalist who connected with a sufficient number of New Zealanders to become THE dominant player in the news space for a decade.

    But then the wheels started to fall off. He left his wife for a woman 22 years his junior. He wrote a fawning book about himself. He made a music CD. He abused his privileged media position by colluding in secret with the Business Round Table to run an anti-Labour smear campaign (“Generation Lost?”). He gave vent to his increasing egotism and self-importance by showing a rank lack of respect with a racist insult aimed at the United Nations Secretary General. He crashed his vintage aeroplane twice pretending he was capable of becoming a pilot. By 2004 his zenith was well over, but he clearly thought he was bigger than TVNZ, bigger than Ben-Hur. He walked.

    Since then, his career has been one of marked failure. Prime axed him after six months. His step daughter developed a high profile drug problem. Since the failure of his move to Prime his career has essentially been becalmed with a bias to decline.

    The point of this all is that Paul Holmes has clearly been unhinged by his success on TVNZ for probably the last twelve years at least. He sees himself as an ubermenschen. His failure to push on, to be heard, to have his limitless talents appreciated, lies not in himself – that cannot be for such a superman – but in the failure of the mean and limited proles to grasp his genius. I would wager his views on Maori are not racist, insofar as he extends them to all members of the lower classes who he thinks are polluting his paradise and obstructing his expression of his will.

    Comment by Sanctuary — February 21, 2012 @ 12:29 pm

  46. @45: Love it! You’ve articulated my opinion beautifully. I’ve never stopped chuckling over his audience never moving to Prime with him. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer bloke.

    Comment by KosmicKarma — January 11, 2013 @ 10:30 pm


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