The weasel words and hypocrisy of the NZ Herald

The NZ Herald has finally published their reasoning for refusing to publish the Charlie Hebdo front cover.

The New Zealand Herald won’t be publishing.

The Herald’s longstanding policy is not to publish imagery designed to cause offence to religious or ethnic communities.

It is not a response to the views of extremists or jihadists, which the Herald of course opposes, but to respect the sensibilities of mainstream believers.

Fairfax publications The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age published the cover late in the day, while Daily Mail Australia opted against running the image, a decision made by its London head office.

Except their excuse is rank hypocrisy.

Exhibit A:


Maybe their policy is more recent than 2010…but they did say longstanding policy…is 5 years longstanding when the Herald has been publishing since 1863. I should have thought that 5 years in a history of 152 year was but a blip, certainly not longstanding.  

Exhibit B:



Looks like the policy wasn’t in place in 2011 either…so their longstanding policy is but 4 years old…but wait…

Exhibit C:


Exhibit D:


Exhibit E:


Exhibit F:HeraldhypocrisyFExhibit G:



It appears their “longstanding policy” is only two years old…unless of course offending Christians doesn’t count.

I contacted editor Shayne Currie for comment about their hypocrisy in the face of all this evidence, he responded:

We’ve paid careful consideration to religious imagery since the controversy and backlash surrounding the Danish cartoons of the prophet Muhammad in 2006.

The examples you’ve highlighted below are news stories about billboards put up by a mainstream Christian denomination – our policy does not prevent reporting on debates within faith communities.

The NZ Herald’s cowardice and hypocrisy is exposed for us all to see. It would appear that the NZ Herald stance is more that the NZ Herald is afraid of Islamic backlash and it is only Islamic religious imagery that they are careful with. Meanwhile other faith based communities can expect a double standard from the NZ Herald.

As for a “longstanding policy” it appears that it is just 8 years old. Pathetic.

I’m not sure I’d want to subscribe or advertise with an organisation that is so hypocritical and so lacking in courage.

What else won’t they print for fear of upsetting someone. The NZ Herald is now a censored organisation.

They no longer the deserve the title of “newspaper of record“.




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  • thehawkreturns

    The Herald is happy to offend Christians daily. Muslims however, are part of a violent misogynist cult that will kill Islam-offenders, gays, Jews, atheists etc etc. So the Herald is CHICKEN.

    • Chiefsfan73

      Correction, they are the bit the chicken leaves on the ground behind it as it goes.

  • conwaycaptain

    They haven’t been a newspaper of record since the Hortons sold out

  • And for offensive cartoons, check out their effort today!

  • Geoff

    So by default it’s ok for the Herald to publish an image that might upset atheists. Why should atheists be left out, they have feelings too. And could they please clarify what they classify as an ethnic community. Is it just minor ones, or does it include the European community?

  • Betty Swallocks

    The Herald, as is the case with most of what passes for “Main Stream” media today, offends my beliefs and sensibilities on a daily basis with the drivel their semi-literate ignorant journalists come up with, which is why I choose not to read, watch or listen to any of it.

  • Cowgirl

    Far from being offensive, I have always seen St Matthews as moving with the times…..unlike other faiths. As far as the Herald goes, it’s obvious that Christians are fair game though – the articles actually mention that some people find them highly offensive. I guess they are just safe in the knowledge that Christians won’t cut their heads off for it.

    • jay

      Dead right

  • corporate refugee

    Plus of course, they thought it was just fine to publish an article and images of who John Key’s son played around of golf with. So, NZ Herald, what about not publishing images that might offend and injure the sensibilities of those people actually in them? What happened to the respect there?

    • The2Game

      Next, corporate refugee, you can expect The Horrid to run a series of photographs of the likes of, oh, Stalin, Hitler, Mao or even contemporary lowlifes as Dot.Crim, Hager and Wussell … all with the caption:

      PEOPLE MAX KEY HASN’T PLAYED GOLF WITH … But who people might think he HAS played with if we sow the seeds in their heads

    • Geoff

      It was a hoax, Max was having a laugh.

  • dgrogan

    I’ve news for you, Cam. The NZ Herald has been a censored organisation since it hired a bunch of PC socialists as ‘Journalists’. Oh…wait. That might be about 8 years ago too.

  • Vlad

    Craven snivelling apologists. The cartoon today showing John Key in a sloppy tongue-kiss is grossly offensive by any standards. It is fine by me for them to publish that, but the weasel-words that they use to defend their failure to publish the forgiving humanist Hebdo cartoon are empty blather.

  • Technomage

    Is Shayne Currie stupid, or does he think the half dozen readers that still buy the rag, NZ Herald, are? Why does he think that it’s necessary to post images that are offensive to Christians, under any circumstances? You DON’T need to post ANY of those images highlighted by Whale Oil, in order to ‘report’ on so-called ‘debates within faith communities’, you can just describe them, like they do with the offensive images of Mohammed referred to in news items. The fact that this most obvious of points is beyond Shayne Currie’s clearly limited comprehension skills, just proves he’s unfit for the position he holds!

  • Alright

    So the Herald has one rule for Christians and another for Jihadists.


    • dgrogan

      Yes, A. And the ironic thing is, even Charlie Hebdo wouldn’t stoop THAT low.

      • Alright

        Hasn’t to my knowledge.It (apparently) needles all faiths and ideologies equally. Unlike the “secular” Herald that prefers to hug jihadists.

    • jay


      • Alright

        That exact thought crossed my mind.

    • peterwn

      Always has so it seems – the Herald played a major part in events leading to the failed prosecution of Catholic Bishop Liston for sedition in 1922.

  • pak

    If the lack of professionalism and utter hypocrisy of The Herald was not crystal clear before, it is now. Very hard to comprehend their stance. Maybe they do think we all stupid. Cancelled my sub. year or so ago – one of best decisions I ever made.

  • jay

    1. What a lame excuse for being too scared to publish the images.
    2. Satire isn’t “designed to offend”, the fact it may offend some people is incidental. Satire is a vital and powerful tool to expose stupidity right across the religious and political spectrum. These images therefore don’t fall foul of the Heralds imaginary policy.
    3. I’m going to start a religion based on my belief that John Key is a prophet and the son of God. Watch out NZ Herald if I catch you ridiculing my deity!

    • SkeptiK

      And especially watch out if you get caught worshiping false prophets, even little ones.

  • tjb

    Really is time they changed that policy, even if I did accept it as long standing.
    For me and any what I’d call wise person – the ability to publish these things is Non Negotiable. It Has to happen & be acceptable.

  • Eiselmann

    Some of those posters outside St Matthew in the City do …I guess offend me is the trendy way of looking at them , certainly they annoy me and likewise many others …yet the Herald published them…guess I’ve got the wrong faith when it comes to the MSM or is it the fact that I’m not likely to blow them up.
    If the Herald ,and others taking a similar stance, are not publishing because they are afraid , then just say so but don’t insult people’s intelligence anymore than your dodgy reporting already does.

  • Wallace Westland

    Laughing my head off at “Brainwash Brian” “Pedo Pope” & Tick Tock “Mohammad”

  • Davo42

    A Dazed Hen ran well (anagram of New Zealand Herald), or pronounced in Heraldese – Buk buk buk buk brrr-awk!

    • Alright

      The paper should be renamed.

      Here’s an idea: KFC

      • Luis Cannon

        Or Chicken Fodder.

  • HunuaRanger

    Obviously this is just a ploy by The Herald to create controversy so that people will rush to buy their publication to see the lack.. of.. err.. umm,

    Oh, Nevermind.

    • Alright

      HR, I can understand you being “lost for words.”

      You are commenting on a newspaper that is as well.

  • oldmanNZ

    This is why the NZherald hate WO.

    It constantly catches NZH out with its hyprocrisy, lies, and bias story.

    They thought they could get away with it..

  • LesleyNZ

    Good to see this post. The NZ Herald and those other media organisations who refuse to publish Charlie cartoons were/are very happy to mock Jesus and Christianity and publish images mocking Jesus. Bunch of hypocrites. At the time they couldn’t have cared less about those were offended by the above images. Will they care now?

  • phronesis

    “– our policy does not prevent reporting on debates within faith communities.”

    Interesting, the Herald has apparently confirmed that there is no debate. All muslims believe that cartoons of the towel head Mohammed are punishable by death.

    Glad we got that sorted out.

  • xennex

    The interesting thing is that under the Human Rights Act (1993), generally anything published which is “threatening, abusive, or insulting” is outlawed, but I can’t determine who determines what might be insulting. A ‘reasonable person’? A tribunal once there is a complaint (most likely)? A fundamentalist?
    However, there’s a fairly clear provision in the HRA to allow media to publish coverage of speech/images which are classified as above.
    So the Herald has the right to publish the (possibly) offending images, but not the balls.

  • Mick Ie

    It might be a brilliant long-term marketing plan. We know, the Herald’s general reader base is dropping off like flies, and that Muslim’s are being encouraged to breed in large numbers, so maybe New Zealand Herald is beginning to canvas them now?
    They probably already have the rebranding sorted.

  • James Howlett

    Love your work Cam. In our world of ever-shortening attention spans it’s getting easier and easier to just blatantly lie about your past. When it’s our own media lying about its position on a subject I’m glad to have WOBH around to call them out.

  • Effluent

    Pusillanimous weasels, lacking moral fibre.

  • spanishbride

    And today while skimming their stories I came across a video that has the Buddha poster with headphones, the one that the NZ guy has been arrested for. They obviously don’t mind offending Buddhists or Christians ONLY Muslims.

  • NZ 2014

    Just a Leftie rag.