I’m not one of those people who plonk myself in front of Media Watch every Monday evening in the delicious anticipation of being Thoroughly Outraged and Deeply Disturbed at the manifest evidence of Left Wing Bias. That the ABC will largely reflect the broadly left liberal slant of every public broadcaster in the liberal democratic world is surely self-evident. Aren’t those who demand that it should be otherwise, dangerously close to the same positioning that they identify as wrong-headed in the ABC? Namely, that the masses will somehow be persuaded to think the wrong way about things unless their idea of appropriate ‘balance’ is struck? I think we underestimate the masses; people are actually a bit more complex that that at the end of the day and anyway, most of them, last night, were watching the final “Big Brother’ episode on Channel 10.
Having said that, I did watch last night’s Media Watch and not for the first time, wondered whether it mightn’t be almost a clever parody of just the sort of pompous, evasive posturing it claims to be on a mission to detect and destroy. The sort of self-indulgent innerurbanati proselytising and patronising that makes you wonder at the scale of effrontery required to claim that this represents Australia’s foremost forum for media analysis.
It commenced with the traditional go at the provincial press, this time in Bunbury W.A. where Marr swiped at the local paper’s juxtaposing of a news item on nineteenth century graves being disturbed by construction, with an ad for recycling old speakers headed ‘bring out your dead.’ So typical of these yokels to make such a tasteless error of judgment. It will be an amusing anecdote for one’s next dinner party.
On to SBS where a TV news piece on the King of Tonga’s 85th birthday featured archival background footage that might have been shot in Fiji given that a bus with ‘Fiji’ on it’s side rumbled through the scene. I kept waiting for the major revelation, but that was it. Earth-shattering stuff. Thank God for the foremost forum and all that.
So to commercial TV and Channel 7’s ‘Sunrise’ show where Marr’s focus was on a guest being swiftly cutoff after using the word ‘fuckwit’ on air. Marr was utterly contemptuous of the Presenters’ consternation at this breach of guidelines. It’s in the Macquarie Dictionary he assured us and ran the word onscreen to show how much more mature the ABC is about this sort of thing. It was also after 9pm as opposed to 7.30 in the morning when the incident occurred on ‘Sunrise,’ but there you go.
7 also offended David by running ad and promo voiceovers over the end credits of a show about Nazism. ‘How crass can 7 get’ he demanded; no doubt flashing on the tracky-dacked, bum-scratching horde of typical 7 viewers who would re-define ‘crass’ for David. Not a ‘Dark Victory’ purchaser amongst them.
I agree that it did sound a bit inappropriate to have shopping exhortations ringing out over death camp statistics but, you know, enough entre nous chat over the canape filler shit, when’s the Foremost Forum main course going to get up?
Enter Miranda Devine. This blogger has already had a go at Miranda for her Ph.D scandal piece and if he might say so it was a bloody sight more incisive than Marr’s. Marr’s concern was that the now legendary ‘Jesus was Gay’ Ph.D to which Devine referred was in fact only tangentially so. Yes indeed. But that wasn’t of course Devine’s point – if she had one at all. One thing is for sure, Marr didn’t have anything approaching a point – other than dissing Devine. Yawn. Yawn. Yawn.
And so to Andrew Bolt who got some details wrong in a piece he ran in the Herald Sun about Alison Broinowski. Classic Marr. Ignore Bolt’s main premise and white-ant the pretty miscellaneous stuff.
And that was it. No main course. Just another pointless exercise in self-righteous paper tiger hunting. Media Watch is very clever satire. But someone needs to tell them.