That Evening Clinic of Referred Pain
These days, I avoid nightly news broadcasts because, as a rule, I find them infuriatingly vapid and inflammatory. (The title of this post comes from Ian McEwan’s Enduring Love).
There is something about TV network news in New Zealand that I find especially irksome, almost unwatchable. TVNZ and TV3 news seem to simultaneously reflect and feed New Zealand’s mood of unrelenting moral panic. But is this true, or do I react so strongly to the awfulness of TV news in NZ because I have a more visceral relationship to my home country in the first place?
In order to find out, I liveblogged the TV3 News tonight to try and capture the flavour and find the source of may abiding distaste. Here is five minutes’ worth:
- A police officer is victim to a frenzied machete attack by 14 and 18 year old alleged offenders: Police Association leverages the story to advocate for arming police; the deeply reactionary Police Minister leverages it for general political advantage.
- Pike River mine redundancy speculation: Mine CRO Peter Whittall continues to bask in adoring and blameless glow; Andrew Little, the union boss and upcoming Labour pollie, tries in vain to generate an aura of his own; Greymouth’s superb Mayor directs questions at Government, who remain silent.
- Continuing hysterical coverage of Prince Charles and his step-mother Camilla getting hassled by subjects; Camilla looks terrified apparently but I can’t tell the difference.
- Drink-driver smashes into bus, car gets ripped in two, vows never to drink and drive again: the reporter looks 15 which explains the quality of journalism; embarrassed but opportunistic driver lectures New Zealanders with road safety cliches in canny bid to avert jail time.
- Anti-whalers arrive in Wellington, but technical problem intervenes and rescues me from having to hear about them.
- PR puff story about campaign to bolster restaurant industry in quake-affected Christchurch: a Restaurant Association rep quotes from the media release, aided by hand-picked local talent who adds sound-bite.
Nothing about the P epidemic thus far, and John Kirwan has said nothing about depression as yet….