Sunday, October 26, 2008

NZ’s worst TV reporter

Hannah Hodson, who just may be the worst New Zealand TV reporter, is reportedly being investigated by her employer, TVNZ, after an alleged fracas between her and the management of P!nk. This isn’t the first time she’s been in trouble with employers.

The allegations centre on a report that Hodson grilled P!nk on why the singer had fired Hodson’s sister from the singer’s Australian entourage. P!nk’s management ended the interview and tried to seize the videotape, which allegedly resulted in a scuffle.

In 2003 Hodson was forced to resign from rival TV3 after she revealed the identity of a whistle-blower. TVNZ then immediately hired her.

Putting both incidents aside, she ought to be sacked simply for being a terrible reporter.

Friday night, TVNZ aired her interview (last item) of Katy Perry when the singer was in Australia. All Hodson wanted to know about was Perry’s hit song, “I Kissed A Girl” and went on to badger her over that song and the idea of kissing a girl. The interview was disgusting and very probably the most homophobic interview I’ve seen on New Zealand television in the nearly 13 years I’ve lived here. The irrelevant questions came across as some sort of bizarre obsession that Hodson held. She did a disservice to New Zealand and to TVNZ.

If TVNZ is stupid enough to bring her back, let’s just say I know how to change channels.


Anonymous said...

Wow! I caught the end of that segment on 3 News so I didn't get to see what the drama was about - I thought it had something to do with Phil Bostwick from C4 since he was the last person I saw on the news.

Love your blog btw!

Arthur (AmeriNZ) said...

Thanks! I only read the report online, but I have to say that given her history, I wasn't surprised.

Anonymous said...

Hannah Hodson is a real cutie and she gets my pulse racing every time i see her. Leave her alone.

Anonymous said...

I'm not wishing to offend - but, although the interview lacked intelligence, tact and class, I don't see how it was homophobic. If those of us who are hetero can't ask questions without being called anti - then how do we learn and understand?

Arthur (AmeriNZ) said...

I think what I said in the post pretty much explains why this was homophobic: Hodson badgered Perry about that one song in a way that seemed obsessive, as if she was trying to goad Perry into something.

Asking questions around GLBT issues can be perfectly legitimate (and I should say, btw, that I don't take offence at being asked about all this—it's a fair question), but it's about scale and context. In this case, the context for the interview was Perry in total, not just this one song. A couple questions about it were relevant, the better part of an interview spent asking related or derivative questions was out of scale given the context.

If Hodson's story was about "outrage" over the song in New Zealand (yeah, right) or even Australia, the questions might have been relevant because they'd be in a different context. However, the interview was a standard promotional interview for a visiting performer. So, a couple questions would be relevant, given the theme of the song, but Hodson kept going back to similar questions, often asking them in such a way that they seemed more about Hodson's asking them than about Perry's answering them. This made the questions a much bigger scale than was appropriate for the context of the interview.

I've since learned this was sort of standard for Hodson, most famously when she crassly confronted Nicole Kidman with bad movie reviews (we can only assume the P!nk interview would have been similar or worse).

TVNZ should have expected this. While still in newspapers, Hodson openly declared her contempt for celebrity interviews, which may explain why she was so belligerent when she did them.

This was a run-of-the-mill celebrity interview that went seriously off the rails, and in a way that implied Perry had done something wrong without having the courage to say that (which would have changed the context and the scale).

This is too big a topic for the comments section, and I have a bigger post in mind (when I can find the time!). But until then, I'm not one to be offended easily, and I don't use words like "homophobic" lightly. I hope eventually to be able to better explain all of that.