Friday, September 04, 2009

On television -

On Tuesday night, Maori Television here showed a documentary on Uighur leader Rebiya Khadeer, much to the consternation and distaste of the Chinese government. In the interests of "balance" Mtv followed the documentary with a Chinese government "press release" on the Xinjiang riots in July this year.

As a result, there has been considerable criticism of Mtv for showing "blatant Chinese government propaganda". That it certainly was, and in the ol probligo's mind that is exactly a very good reason why it should be shown. After showing some 15 minutes of street scene cctv of people beating up on others, breaking windows, and setting a couple of fires, police escorting some 25 "prisoners", and all of that without commentary, the film concluded that the riots had been orchestrated by the World Uighur Congress and Khadeer was the only individual named.

What many seem to miss is that showing this kind of government crap is so important simply because it is part of learning differences between factual (and there was fact in the CPR film; people were rioting) and the distribution of political cant based upon broken and missing logical conclusion. That the riots were Uighurs taking out their frustration on the Han is also factual. That is little different to the government here saying that Ngai Tuhoe live in the Urewera.

As I have posted to a couple or three fora -

"I also commend MaoriTV for showing the China Government film after the Uighur doco. NOT because I have any support or affiliation for the Chinese government; quite the opposite.

By showing the “press release” (about the most polite and desriptive appelation I can find) anyone watching it should be able to see through the propaganda to the underlying truths. If they can not, then that shows the importance of broadcasting this and similar propaganda releases.

Why? Simply so that we all can learn to recognise government propaganda when it appears on our screens. Whether it is government sponsored “analysis” of riots in China, or police action against Te Urewera in this country, we the general public must be able to recognise what we are being told for what it is.

Just because CPR says that the rioting was "orchestrated by the WUC" does not make it so, any more than the NZ government saying that there was a "terrorist training camp" at Ruatoria makes that so. I believe it is a technique that was sometimes termed "drawing a long bow".

While on the subject of television viewing, Brian Edwards (a broadcaster and man of many letters for whom I hold considerable regard) published a "Brickbats and Bouquets" list earlier in the week. One of his top bouquets was in praise of a locally produced soap "Outrageous Fortune". I have tried to watch this hour of agony a couple of times and given up on it. Totally. I expressed this opinion in support of another commenter who thought he might be the only person who does not like this particular "entertainment". BE took some exception to my opine that he would also enjoy Coro St. and Shortie St. and accused me of being somewhat "elitist".

Ah, the good old kiwi tall poppy syndrome again.


Monkfish said...

Oh, come on probligo! Outrageous Fortune is...has been, whatever...the best thing on NZTV in years. The trouble is, you've probably tried to watch it on TV. I watch nothing on broadcast TV as the ads are pollution and infect all that is broadcast. How can you get any continuity with a 5 minute break at 10 - 12 minute intervals? Can you imagine Beethoven's 5th chopped up in such a fashion?

No - watch it on DVD 2 or 3 episodes at a time and if you have sense of humour at all, tell me if you really couldn't stand it. OK, there are a few cuss words but you are looking at a decile 1 family!

The probligo said...

Monkfish, I think that it is the language more than anything else that turns me off.

Comedy, on my little planet, does not always need words.

BillyT, the Topp girls, and John Clark are my top NZ comedians.

On a wider sight, Stan Freberg, Spike Jones, John Cleese, Peter Sellers, the Milligan...

Taste; that really is the nub. And perhaps it is the language that makes the difference.

The probligo said...

"Outrageous Fortune is...has been, whatever...the best thing on NZTV in years..."

Not a claim of which I would be proud. But then I have to admit that a lot of people like it, that is apparent.

I said in my original piece above that I had a high regard for BE.

Since writing that, it occurred to me that there is an opposite to "elitist". I have wondered since how BE might react to being termed a "populist".