October 13, 2010

Looks and Sounds Like New Zealand

A few days ago, a public New Zealand figure put his foot in his mouth. His name is Paul Henry and he is known to do these things. He co-hosts New Zealand’s morning news show (Americans - think, “Today” on NBC.) The controversial moment came when Mr. Henry commented, while interviewing the Prime Minister, John Key, that New Zealand’s Governor General, Sir Anand Satyanand, a born and raised New Zealander of Fijian-Indian descent, does not look or sound like a New Zealander. He went on a bit more in this vein, including asking the prime minister if he planned to choose someone who “looked and sounded more like a New Zealander” as the next Governor General.

But it gets worse.

TVNZ’s spokeswoman, Andi Brotherston, defended Mr. Henry by saying that New Zealanders love him because “he says the things we quietly think but are scared to say out loud.”