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Eat your fast-food and don’t think

Written By: - Date published: 12:34 pm, February 25th, 2012 - 36 comments
Categories: poverty, tv - Tags: ,

National’s man in NZ on Air, John Key’s electorate chairman Stephen McElrea, was terribly worried about New Zealanders seeing a documentary about child poverty before the election. Informative TV has no place being funded with the public purse in National’s New Zealand. But no such objection to $1.6 million for New Zealand’s Got Talent. It’s the perfect pap to distract the masses.

36 comments on “Eat your fast-food and don’t think ”

  1. Kotahi Tane Huna 1

    The arguments against this are not well-supported. The “show” (which I cannot stand) is to be funded from the arts and culture budget, and will no doubt showcase a deal of NZ “talent”.

    Pap to distract the masses it may be – that in itself is debatable – but mass distractions are no less valid than minority ones. Except of course the low brow half-culture USAification of everything that is making my blood boil damn I hate that show! There’s the problem right there: I also don’t have much time for Opera. Should that be defunded too?

    At least it isn’t coming out of the budget for documentaries.

    • Margaret 1.1

      Opera is no longer directly funded by the Government and very soon neither will any of the ‘minority’ provisions. TVNZ7 is losing it’s funding TVNZ6 turned into a trash channel and the lack of any kind of quality NZ focused programming on TV1 means we no longer have any public broadcasting. We have plenty of NZ shows for the commercially driven majority. Police 10 7, Master chef, Renters, Neighbours at War, how much more trash do people need?

  2. Merkin 2

    OK, let’s give up on the dumbing down, opiate of the masses critique of corporate media – because this regime doesn’t give a tinker’s cuss – commercial good, public service bad (how dare you tell me what to think, question the status quo of our bullshit values). Now that I got that of my chest, let’s appraise the decision to spend 1.6 million of NZ On Air funding to make our own version of this global franchise from a commercial television industry standpoint – how much are we paying for the rights? Is it value for money? Shouldn’t NZOA support local initiatives, not rehashed formula? What if we supported the development of our own franchise? For example, in the 90s we pioneered the reality subgenre of popstars, which followed the auditions and manufacture of the girl band True Bliss. The concept and rights were then on-sold for a song (lol) and the IP and royalties were lost in what became a global television phenomena. Where is the vision NZOA? I’m sure poverty denier McElrea has lots of great ideas to bring educational, informative and entertaining television to our screens though – not.

    • felix 2.1

      Bang on, Merkin.

      Once again the govt is encouraging us to be vacuous consumers of imports rather than innovative producers of exports.

      • Kotahi Tane Huna 2.1.1

        I so want to just give in and agree with both of you, but, but this kind of tv provides a stage, and an audience, to whatever people want to bring to it.

        The template is imported, like the Buzzy Bee, but the result will be “Kiwi” whether high or low brow. I am far more concerned about the political influence on documentaries and political coverage than the commercial influence over talent shows.

        In the best tv world that can be imagined, like it or not, talent contests will still have their niche.

        Please find a way to disprove this.

        • felix

          Oh I have nothing against talent contests.

          But why are we paying for the rights to make one?

          • Kotahi Tane Huna

            Hmm. How much goodwill will transfer from the franchise into ratings volume?

            How long is a piece of string?

            I avoid tv like the plague so I’m certainly a terrible arbiter of these things, but I’d say the crucial thing will be the person playing the Simon Cowell role. Michael Laws? Now you’re just going to have to kill me.

        • Macro

          True! True!
          I don’t watch tv – (or should I say I occasionally skim over what’s on – like once a month – then switch it off.)
          Anyway I was about to say that one programme that caught my eye a few months back – no I lie – a year and a bit back – was on Maori TV. A home grown talent quest . It was real and very watchable. It wouldn’t have cost $1.6 mill though.
          The MAIN thing that concerns me – and I have a vested interest in this as my youngest has just graduated from Toi Whaakari – There is a dearth of opportunities for kiwi talent and they splurge all that money in one go. The performers won’t be getting much of it that’s for sure.

          • Kotahi Tane Huna

            Very good point. What will the money be spent on? To what extent are the judges the performers? Perhaps they should be “encouraged” to do it for free. And the camera crew.

            If the Maori tv show had cost $1.6m, by your description it would have been money well spent. and I would agree. But what is the actual contractual situation of people who get past the audition? Hourly rate, etc.

            The best thing is to encourage them to become union members, and to require tvNZ to pay the going rate.

            • Macro

              “But what is the actual contractual situation of people who get past the audition? Hourly rate, etc. ”

              I’ve no idea! I would think literally peanuts (and a meal or two). More if you make it through the rounds. If you were in Equity you probably wouldn’t be auditioned…

              Now a drama or sitcom employing actors would be different. And they usually are in Equity. But the producers say there’s not enough money for home grown shows from NZ on Air, and that’s why we get all that rubbish from off-shore – all the cheap stuff – which is all the TV stations can afford. Having blown $1.6 mill on this, that’s less in the kitty for others.

            • felix

              They are paid in attention.

              • Kotahi Tane Huna

                Which may be enough for all I know, but um, sorry, citation please.

                If there’s some sort of exploitative “contract” going on then then screw that. But what is it? Let’s get at the clauses and suggest better ones.

                To put it another way, when do the contestants start getting paid for their time? At what stage in the comp?

                Edit: this is only one side of it. I think we have a serious problem in our fourth estate, for example.

  3. Hilary 3

    That money could keep TV7 on air for a couple of months, with its large variety of NZ programmes.

    • yeshe 3.1

      Much longer than that, I think … anyone have the figures on what TV7 needed to stay alive especially after Coleman fudged ( oops, I mean ‘lied about’) the audience figures to make them appear so much smaller than they really were ??

  4. Georgecom 4

    If NZ on Air wants to spend $1.6 million on making a programme to ‘entertain’ then I expect no comment from them whatsoever about also spending money on programmes that inform.

    That is unless NZ on Air wants to adopt a ‘smile and wave’ ‘photo opportunity’ type approach to broadcasting. I wonder where that type of influence might stem from.

  5. mikesh 5

    Presumably the program is paid for from advertising revenue. But the cost of advertising is built into the cost of products we buy at the supermarket etc. So ultimately it’s you and I paying for this show.

  6. Populuxe1 6

    Snobbery rears it’s ugly head.

    • felix 6.1

      Where’s that, Pop?

      Seriously, did you even read any of the comments?

      Or the article?

      Way to miss the fucking point, guy.

      • Populuxe1 6.1.1

        But no such objection to $1.6 million for New Zealand’s Got Talent. It’s the perfect pap to distract the masses.

        Sounds fairly snobby to me.

        • felix

          Are you saying that compared to a documentary about serious social issues it isn’t a pappy distraction?

          Or are you just deliberately missing the point for some other reason?

  7. Populuxe1 7

    No, I just object to the wanky elitist notion that people should be forced to watch something because it’s good for them, or to be judged for their tastes in popular entertainment… for whatever reason… dickhead….

    • felix 7.1

      Yeah, ‘cos this article and thread is all about forcing people to watch things that are good for them.

      • Populuxe1 7.1.1

        You give the impression that you would like to. Does judging people and telling them how to live their lives excite some atavistic religious synapse in you somewhere?

        • felix

          You get that from my comments in this thread?

          Fascinating. Which ones?

          • Populuxe1

            Are you saying that compared to a documentary about serious social issues it isn’t a pappy distraction

            That’s a value judgment that suggests you think the sort of people who like mass entertainment are somehow less worthy than those who watch serious documentaries about social issues.

            Once again the govt is encouraging us to be vacuous consumers of imports rather than innovative producers of exports.

            So consumers of imports are vacuous? Because, presumably, in this case they don’t like the telly you like? Because they are participating in a global culture? Obviously they must be re-educated.

            Oh I have nothing against talent contests. But why are we paying for the rights to make one?

            Let me guess – some of your best friends are “talent contests”? Obviously there’s a market for this particular format, otherwise they wouldn’t bother – but clearly mass popular taste offends you.
            I hate this kind of snobbery – it offends my socialist values. And in any case there is no equivalence between not screening a documentary before an election and funding a tv series – there’s just no relationship at all. Why make such a correlation unless out of snobbery? Besides which, a single paragraph of rant hardly constitutes an “article”.

            • felix

              “That’s a value judgment that suggests you think the sort of people who like mass entertainment are somehow less worthy”

              Nonsense, it makes no judgements about people whatsoever. You’re reading something into the statement that isn’t there. Words in my mouth #1.

              “So consumers of imports are vacuous?”

              Sometimes. Not necessarily. Doesn’t matter though because I didn’t say they were. It’s a sets/subsets thing, you need to work on that. I’ve noticed you having trouble with it before. Words in my mouth #2.

              “Because, presumably, in this case they don’t like the telly you like?”

              I don’t think I’ve said anything about the telly I like. Except in one of my first comments where I mentioned that talent shows are alright. But presume away, that’s about all you seem to be capable of Pop. Words in my mouth #3.

              “Because they are participating in a global culture?”

              Err no, I was actually suggesting we should export more. How did you read that as being anti-participation in a global culture? Words in my mouth #4, and retarded.

              “Obviously they must be re-educated.”

              Seriously Pop? Crossed the line there from over-eager presumption based on mis-comprehension into, well, just fucking stupid. Get a grip. Words in my mouth #5.

              “Let me guess – some of your best friends are “talent contests”? Obviously there’s a market for this particular format, otherwise they wouldn’t bother – but clearly mass popular taste offends you.”

              Oh god what the fuck is wrong with you? This is all happening in your head you moron. Try arguing with something I’ve actually said.

              Sheesh what a fuckwit.

            • muzza

              “but clearly mass popular taste offends you” – baaa baaaa baaaaa baaaa baaa

              It offends me the same way you do bro, because “reality tv” has become society’s crack, and the biggest distraction , bad joke on the tube, equal with the news reporting, its all utter BS!

              They add nothing to the world by way of educational value overall, and the level of the shows are simply becoming apaulling. Note I am not referring specifically to the “talent style shows” if you can call them that, I am referring to the whole stinking lot of them!

              Dumbed down, idiotic “mass popular taste” – Its a bit like these blog sites, although at least here you can read some opinion and get a feel for a small cross section of opinions, and even get some quality input and info from time to time. But the value add to society is not much more than the reality shows if people are not actually getting out into real life and contributing..

              But thats what its about isnt it, they are about keeping people pacified, dumbed down and in front of the tele absorbing advertising messages, its just bad medicine.

              You like to make noises about holding guns and forcing people to take bad medicine though, so I guess you are massive “crack tv” fan!

  8. tc 8

    All of this means little if we had a half decent MSM that actually researched and wrote balanced pieces about poverty, health, education and politics to name a few. Instead it publishes press releases as news, CT and govt spin lines as if that’s facts and dog whistles away with dinosaurs and biased operators like Holmes etc.

    This whole controversy over the documentary shows how starved the public are for intelligent balanced fact based material on serious subjects so it stood out like proverbial dogs bollicks.

    The Nats could’ve let this one go and it would’ve all blown over but this further attempt to control the messaging is amateur and unnecessary but I guess that’s what happens when you’ve been getting away with it so long you can’t help yourself.

  9. Dave Batten 9

    I think it’s a good idea. Sure, it’s not the best idea ever, but it will be a good opportunity for TVNZ to show their true colors.

    NZ Idol was rubbish because at the time the production team failed to get high quality talent on the show. How do you know that the same mistake will be made again. I have faith in TVNZ to do a better job this time. I hope its justified. Lets wait and see!!

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