Truth and lies on TV screen
The world is replete with current affairs programmes or investigative TV shows that purport to be fair and unbiased.
In fact they follow a path of inquiry predetermined by the shows’ producers and all video footage and interviews present the “evidence” that inquiry is bound to uncover.
How many shows seek to show one thing and, along the way, find the truth points in a different direction?
And if that happens, do they go to air with their findings? Something worth pondering.
Most of our “investigative” TV shows set out to prove a particular viewpoint, usually one not shared by the police or courts. They want us to see someone acquitted of a crime as a nasty criminal who got away with murder/fraud/ whatever, and only the TV channel and its reporters have the gumption and the resources (and the newly discovered secret witness) to enable them to find and present the truth.
Or they “investigate” a crime committed by someone convicted for that crime to “prove” they are not guilty.
They cast aspersions on the police investigation, the legal system and the jury that decided otherwise — the jury that heard ALL the evidence from BOTH sides of the story.
That’s why we have a Defence and a Prosecution.
A TV show presents one side of the story, either Defence or Prosecution, but never both, unless to show one in a bad light.
All interviews are edited and some things — things that go against the producer’s grain — are withheld from public view. They have to fit the entire investigation within the framework of a one-hour TV show so a lot of material has to be shed in the interests of timeframe and the official station viewpoint.
Of course the police make mistakes and sometimes juries get it wrong, especially if — just like TV shows — evidence is withheld or distorted. But the number of “investigative” shows and their attempts to rewrite legal history suggests the courts get it wrong all the time, every day.
These TV shows are entertainment and they are attempts to improve or maintain ratings.
To suggest a one-hour, edited, subjective TV show can take the place of days or weeks of evidence, questioning and due process in a court of law is naı¨ve and, in most cases, wrong.
But sponsors and our tax money will continue to subsidise entertainment which promises to do exactly that.
Video lies. Most of these shows prove it.
Australia’s a funny place, isn’t it?
I lived there for a few years and, mostly, enjoyed it. It was the 1980s, a time of body shirts and big hair and days when we waited anxiously for the next televised appearance of Queensland Premier, Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen, just so we could hear yet another wondrous tidbit of wisdom. He loved talking to the media: he called it “feeding the chooks” — as opposed to his politics and party economic policy, which was all about feeding the wealthy, the appropriately named “white shoe brigade”. He would tell women reporters, “Don’t you worry your pretty little head about that,” when they tried to ask questions about his policies and actions. His antics were amusing and showed Australian politics to be quite silly. Still, his wife and fellow senator Flo made lovely pumpkin scones. Since then, Australia his slipped even more down the slippery slope of silliness, especially with this “ship them back to New Zealand” mentality.
New Zealand is in line to inherit the products of Australian culture, people who have committed crimes in Oz and have been identified as Kiwis. Some of them have never set foot in Aotearoa, while others left at a tender age, their criminal habits and proclivities yet to be formed by the very nation that wants to eject them back across the Tasman. Peculiar, isn’t it, that Australia now wants to identify their own citizens as Kiwi, after years of claiming Kiwis as Australians.
Every New Zealand musician or singer that crossed the ditch and made it big in Australia was suddenly claimed by their adopted country. Never mind that they learned their skills and developed a fan base at home, it was all about Australia. Not just New Zealand successes, of course. John Farnham, the Bee Gees and Olivia NewtonJohn had been in the country five minutes (figuratively) and were adopted by Australia. Poms? Hello no! They’re dinkum Aussie!
Dragon and Crowded House are just two in a long list of Kiwi bands that became “Australian,” because it suited Australia. Now the reverse is true.
Ne’er-do-wells of dubious Kiwi heritage, raised and partially educated in Australia, are being returned to a land they have never known because it suits the narrow thinking of Australian politicians.
It makes them look like they’re getting tough on crime and looking after “real” Australians.
We’ve seen how real Australians are treated. The Aboriginal people were unable to vote in Federal elections until 1962. Queensland was the last to remove their inability to vote in State elections in 1965.