The USS Quad Damage

Today's Current Affairs, Tonight

The two sources of the title to this entry could be described as schlock journalism at best, and at worst with words none of you have ever heard me use, and so you would expect them to not be topics of interest here at The Quad. In a perfect world, people would see through the sensationalist nonsense that they present and switch over to something more worthwhile, like Neighbours or something. However, things aren't like that and many people really do watch them and take them seriously (I occasionally watch for entertainment value only). So here we are.

In response to raising fuel prices, the current hot topic being discussed is the use of ethanol in petrol. Currently, both Today Tonight and A Current Affair have been running stories about how ethanol does not harm your engine and can lead do a drastically (read: small) reduced expenditure in running your vehicle. What bothers me is not the accuracy of what they are reporting, but rather how short the memories their viewers must be - last year, their stories were all about how ethanol can harm your car's engine.

I'm not angry at these programmes. Their goal is to increase ratings in order to sell their advertising slots at a higer price, and I understand and accept that. What angers me is their viewing audience (that is, the "hard working aussie battler"). Because Australians are so disinterested and indifferent when it comes to anything of political, social or economic values, these programmes can get away with recycling old stories and change their stance to better fit the current opinion. We are reluctant to view anything presented to us critically, and would rather be told what to think by footage of an non-threatening father with his two young children by his side. "X and Y issue makes life difficult for me, and since you are just like me, you have to agree with me. Or else you're just un-Australian."

Quality journalism does exist in this country, but unfortunately it it can only be found on either the "boring English" channel or the station that features "wog porn".

What I'm really trying to say is that everyone should watch Media Watch. Not only is it entertaining and they use really snooty people as their hosts and voice talent, but it will turn you into a jaded, cynical bastard well before your time. But mostly for the snoot.

*The only good point I can award to these Current Affairs programmes is that if you've ever been cheated by a dodgy, single mother, welfare cheating, weight loss miracle tradesman, you can rest assure that they will expose their shady practises and hound them day and night until they kill themselves.