Because it's Henry and his ilk who make women fearful to speak in case their looks are picked apart.
Because a woman who is interviewed about something unrelated to her appearance should not have to put up with the discussion being refocused to that. Especially when what she has to say is too challenging for the host's mental abilities.
Because there is a gender element to this; I can never imagine Paul Henry reading out a fax about Don Brash being wrinkly and how he should get botox. Not that that would be ok.
Because there is also a right-wing bias to this; part of the reason Henry would never read out a fax criticising Brash's appearance is because he is a member of the same political club. He frequently belittles left-wing commentators on the show, usually after they are gone and can no longer reply. These are not the actions of a responsible journalist.
Because he didn't respect his fellow presenter, Alison Mau, when she pleaded with him not to read the fax out. Anyone else think he might have thought twice if he'd had a man next to him saying no?
Because I would really like my nieces to grow up in a world where what they say and do is more important than what they looked like at the time.
Because if Paul Henry seriously thinks that everyone else watching Stephanie Mills was only thinking about her facial hair then he needs to get out of the studio, out of the A List events, to where real people talk about real things, like climate change, and the recession, and workers rights, and putting food on the table, and even how to ice cupcakes, not whether or not someone else should wax.
Because Henry's revelling in the attention and thinks it's a huge laugh. I don't know what Stephanie Mills thinks about it but I do know what I think about it. His indifference is the most frustrating thing for me; he doesn't get it, he doesn't want to get it, he doesn't even get that he is so not getting it. He doesn't care, and we can't make him care.
Which is why I sincerely hope that his boss, or the BSA, or the advertisers on Breakfast might be able to get through to him precisely why he should care. Not because he could lose his job, or the show could lose ratings or advertisers; but because what he did was unacceptable. I have this nasty feeling that he's going to twist it all around until he's the victim, and the champion of free speech, when in fact his actions are part of a culture of stifling the speech of those he doesn't agree with.
The problem here is not the response of viewers to Henry. The problem is Henry.
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