TVOne Breakfast cohost Pippa Wetzell resigned today following the resignation of the show’s frontman, Paul Henry.
Henry’s resignation came after he made racist comments on air. Many commentators had noted that these comments were hardly unprecedented and rumours had circulated that this was basically entirely the point of his having the job.
Wetzell, however, seems to have come under fire as well for her lack of role in the incident.
A tearful Wetzell said at a hurried press conference this morning that she felt she had to go.
“My role on Breakfast has always been to sit next to Paul and tut-tut his more offensive comments. TVNZ has relied on me to provide a visible counterpoint to Paul’s bigotry and dog-whistles to redneck New Zealand, and to make people stop short of protesting outside TVNZ offices, by providing a dissenting on-air voice.
“At times I have also been in charge of pressing the little button that sends electric shocks into Paul’s collar when he’s getting a bit too close to stepping over the generous lines drawn for him by the Broadcasting Standards Authority.
“By not rolling my eyes obviously enough, and by merely trying to coax Paul into acting like a semi-decent human being – as dictated by my performance review criteria – instead of contradicting him clearly enough to mollify the critics in our audience, I have cost Paul his job and TVNZ a just-palatable-enough-not-to-sack fuckwit host.”
Media pundits have confirmed that Wetzell’s loss will not be a particularly great one to the organisation, as they have for many years been following Fox News’s strategy of growing unthreatening blonde commentators in vats backstage. This appears to be borne out by TVNZ’s brief statement on Wetzell’s resignation which referred to her at various points as “Alison,” “Kaye”, and “Kate”.
[Because some news I just have to come off hiatus for.]