A prominent breakfast television host has again caused controversy, after an on-air tirade comparing Jewish people to animals.
The host of Aotearoa TV’s Rise and Shine, Herman Pond, made the remarks during an interview with the Prime Minister, John Key, this morning.
Mr Pond claimed that Hollywood was controlled by Jews and that Jewish people should be put into a petting zoo, so that “PC woofters” could pet them.
He also expressed an admiration for Adolf Hitler and asked Mr Key if there were any plans to eliminate the “Jewish menace”.
Viewers were immediately outraged, and flooded the show with angry emails and calls.
One viewer complained that setting up a petting zoo would be a waste of taxpayer money and that the Jews would be better used as slave labour.
Another said she was disgusted that Mr Pond had compared Jews with animals.
“As a long-time animal lover, I was disgusted to hear him likening those vermin to God’s adorable creatures.”
Prominent broadcaster and media commentator Hans Uberbot condemned Pond’s tirade and called for the presenter to be replaced by a monkey.
“His replacement may stink the studio out by throwing its faeces at the crew and guests, but how is that any different to than what they currently have?” said Mr Uberbot.
Mr Pond defended his comments shortly afterwards, saying they were “just throwaway lines.”
“I’m just saying what everyone else in the audience is thinking. It’s not my problem if some Jew-loving people have thin skins.”
But Pond later issued an apology for his remarks, saying “I deeply regret that lovers of the race that killed the Christ were offended by my honesty.”
A spokesperson for the Prime Minister released a statement about the incident this afternoon.
“While the Prime Minister does not condone anything said by Mr Pond about the Jews, he was relaxed about the interview and doesn’t take personally any slight against the Jews. Mr Pond is an important patsy interviewer for our John, and we don’t dare ruin that”, the statement said.
Pond’s comments were described as “a bit silly” by Opposition leader Phil Goff.
“That’s just Herman Pond being Herman Pond. And my being too cowardly to confront and condemn hate speech is just Phil Goff being Phil Goff.”
Mr Pond has a history of on-air controversies.
Last year he interviewed a concentration camp survivor while dressed in a German stormtrooper’s uniform. The Broadcasting Standards Authority upheld a complaint about his behaviour but he refused to apologise.
In 2008 Mr Pond lamented on-air the demise of the “Aryan race” and the rise of the “mud peoples”. A Broadcasting Standards Authority was upheld, but again Pond refused to say sorry.
More recently the Rise and Shine set was redesigned at Pond’s instigation, with banners and swastikas adorning the background.
The controversies have not affected the show’s ratings, which continue to soar. A threatened advertiser backlash did not eventuate, although Rosenberg’s Famous Eccles Cakes did announce in 2009 that they would not renew their advertising contract with Aotearoa TV.
The full interview transcript:
Herman Pond: Prime Minister, thank you for joining us.
John Key: Happy to be here.
HP: Well let’s start with the big news story of the last week. The Hobbit. Your take on it all?
JK: Clearly we’re concerned about the risk that the film may move offshore, which is why we’ve offered to-“
HP: This is about the Jews, isn’t it?
HP: The Jews who control Hollywood. Coming over here and trying to lay down the law to our actors and production people. Just who do they think they are?
HP: Just why are there so many Jews in Hollywood? It’s bad enough that they control the world’s financial system, don’t you think?
JK: I’m not sure they…
HP: I mean they’re not even real people. Start a zoo, I say. Put ‘em in there and that way any PC woofter who wants to be nice to a Jew can go there and pet them.
JK: A Jewish petting zoo?
HP: Well why not?
JK: My mother was Jewish.
HP: Nobody’s perfect, Prime Minister! Apart from Adolf Hitler. He was. Perfect, that is. He didn’t like the Jews, and boy didn’t he have a point!
HP: Do you think we got it wrong in World War Two? Personally I think we backed the wrong horse. Look at the mess we’re in now.
JK: The world economy may be in a bit of a mess, but…
HP: See, it’s those Jews again. Big banking. Can we expect any plans soon to eliminate the Jewish menace, Prime Minister?
JK: We haven’t looked into it. Obviously if there was a public appetite for changing the way we deal with certain people then we would of course want to take a look.
HP: Thank you, Prime Minister. By the way, I think you’d look fetching in a black uniform.