I see Rachel Smalley and TV 3 are refusing to apologise for the dumb, pointless questions they asked of Hekia Parata in an interview in May. This despite Tau Henare now kicking up a fuss about the question “How Maori are you?” Worse, they are now trying to justify them with tripe like this:
“TV3 director of news and current affairs Mark Jennings said they were reasonable questions asked by one of the organisation’s most senior journalists.
““They were part of valid question lines around the minister’s relationships with her colleagues, and whether her personal views on the Maori electoral seats are out of line with those of the Government.””
I can’t recall ever reading such an appallingly pathetic justification. “Are you a bitch to work for?” is a question worthy of Oprah, not a current affairs program. It is not certainly NOT a valid question line “ around the minister’s relationships with her colleagues”. A proper question would be “Do you consider yourself difficult to work with?” or, if you want to be more punchy, “How do you explain the fact that the turnover rate of staff in your department is twice (insert actual figure here) that of other departments?”. These are legitimate questions for a news show. Ms Smalley should stop channeling Oprah and act like a real journalist.
As for “How Maori are you?” – what kind of a question is that? It most certainly is NOT “whether her personal views on the Maori electoral seats are out of line with those of the Government.” – THAT would be “What are your views on the Maori seats?” followed by “Do you think your views are out of line with those of the Government?” wouldn’t it? One wonders if Ms Smalley thinks she would get away with asking Metiria Turei “How gay are you?” when trying to ascertain her views on gay adoption.
Interestingly, there is a great deal more condemnation of the second question than the first, even though “Are you a bitch?” is considerably more insulting. I surmise that, while Maoris accept Parata as one of their own, despite her being a National Minister, Feminists – who would normally go ballistic over such a question – do not appear to accept a female National MP as a person worth defending. This is not the first time that insults to right-wing women fly past the normally ubiquitous feminist radar.