by Siobhan Keogh
It was inevitable that I’d eventually write about how shitty the news on public television is, wasn’t it? After all, it’s probably less genuine than an episode of Laguna Beach and less ‘fair and balanced’ than Fox News coverage of a gay pride rally. When I find out that people in New Zealand watch the news to “stay informed” about the things that are going on in the world, I really want to laugh in their faces. Since when do either of the major 6 o’clock news programmes actually tell the truth about, uh, anything? It’s gotten to the point where I can’t watch without wanting to yell at the screen.
You might think I’m being overly dramatic, but really, the news seems
to just be there to reaffirm all the conservative ideals its target audience holds, and to make everyone who isn’t a part of the white middle class out to be either boy racers or dirty fucking hippies. When is the last time you’ve seen a protest represented positively on the news? It just doesn’t happen. For example, I’m sure some of you remember a few weeks ago, when some protesters burst the dome around a giant spy satellite dish that has been keeping track of the Pacific and feeding information to the CIA for years. Rather than being honest about what the Waihopai base is there for, the news chose to say things like, “The protest group alleges that this spy system is feeding information to the USA and thus aiding in their war efforts.” The news made out like they were just a bunch of crazy conspiracy theorists. Here’s a newsflash for you: this is actually happening. They
weren’t alleging anything that wasn’t based on real, tangible information. Whether we like it or not, we are helping the US government fight their fucking war on terrorism just by paying our taxes.
The same kind of thing goes for environmentalists and supporters of
cannabis law reform. They are all filthy fucking hippies as far as the news is concerned, and even if I’m not chaining myself to a tree while sucking on a bong 24/7, I don’t think it’s fair. Why doesn’t the news properly inform its viewers about why those dirty, dreaded scoundrels are really there, rather than just editing footage to make them seem as if they don’t know what they’re talking about?
Here’s my advice to those of you who want to be informed: stop watching the news. Seriously, just stop, because every time you turn on the TV at 6 o’clock and don’t change the channel they are feeding you bullshit. This is not objective reporting; it’s meant to reassure the kind of people who would go to NORML’s cannabis discussion and actually clap when Jim Anderton spoke, and it’s meant to entertain stupid people who don’t know not to believe everything they see on TV. Don’t be that person. Change the channel. At least The Nanny doesn’t pretend to be anything other than fiction.