CNN view on powhiri strikes a bum note
CNN reporter Jeanne Moos has apologised for describing the formal powhiri that welcomed the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to Government House in Wellington on Monday as a "royal bummer".
Her video report showed the well-circulated shots of a heavily tattooed and bare-bottomed warrior greeting Kate and made jest of the traditional Maori welcome.
"Technically the only one being bummed was the warrior with his decorated buns exposed," Moos remarked.
"Is this any way to welcome a future king and queen?" she asked.
The news item also showed Laura Bush being welcomed by part of a New Zealand contingent serving in Afghanistan in 2008 when her husband George was US president.
Moos called the haka performed in front of the former first lady a routine of "slapping and thrusting" and said CNN had described it at the time as "a cross between a Chippendales lap dance and the mating dance of an emu".
"We tend to love it when leaders . . . go native," Moos said, as the video showed George Bush dancing with an African tribe.
Wellingtonian Jayden Evett, 18, did not see the news item as funny, describing it as "incredibly racist" and a "a blatant disregard of cultural sensitivity".
Evett has complained to CNN, and after encouragement from friends and family, started a petition yesterday morning asking the channel for an apology. He had more than his goal of 500 signatures by mid-afternoon.
Today Moos offered an apology.
"Duly noted. I do humour and satire, and I am truly sorry if the tone of my story offended anyone."
The Dominion Post