So veteran New Zealand broadcaster Sir Paul Holmes, the man who once called Kofi Annan a “cheeky darkie”, has passed away and tributes are pouring in. I didn’t watch him all that regularly, but did analyse his interview with Morgan Fahey in an article I published with Jane Harrison in Gender, Place and Culture in 2001. Morgan Fahey was a respected Christchurch GP who was later convicted and imprisoned for sexually assaulting a number of female patients in his care. It involved all kinds of interesting media geographies, including secret cameras and grainy image apologies. In response to Holmes’ death, NZ PM John Key has described him as a journalist who asked the hard questions, but in the Fahey interview, as we wrote back then, he departed from his “usual more confrontational style and conducted what could only be described as a benign interview, with Fahey presented not as a physician or a politician but as a husband and a family man” (Cupples and Harrison 2001:195 ). He also chose to reproduce anti-feminist tropes of the women who made the allegations as untrustworthy and unstable and placed images of Fahey and his wife against the ultra-English landscape of Hagley Park. I wonder if he was thinking of the Fahey interview when he said these words in one of his last interviews to the NZ media before his death, interesting references at the end of the clip to treating “a man unfairly or incorrectly” and “guilt or innocence”. RIP Paul.
The video clip is here
The article in Gender, Place and Culture is here