- Date published:
8:44 am, September 30th, 2019 - 51 comments
Categories: Dirty Politics, Gerry Brownlee, politicans, Politics, Simon Bridges - Tags: parliamentary democracy, Parliamentary services
Occasionally, this site puts up a video from parliament. Probably happens a few times per month at best. Which since this site is one that is dedicated to politics in NZ indicates not a whole lot of interest. The number of readers of posts who click into those videos is a very small fraction of the post readers. So small that they barely register.
Outside of the video starved TV news micro-clips, I suspect that the few political sites around are probably one of the biggest users of parliaments video outside of the politicians themselves. If only because the major media sites outside of TV don’t put them up virtually at all except as political advertising.
So are we, the public, getting value from it. Well yes. It stands as a record of the debate in parliament. But as far as I can tell – not that all that much. It is a marginal exercise at best.
It is useful to have to look up from dryness of Hansard and the even drier detail of the bills and law making that are the business of parliament and see what MPs are currently posturing like.
So is it worth the costs, which are substantive. At best, and as a political aficionado, I’d say that at best it is a toss-up.
But as soon as they start becoming feedstock for out of context, half arsed clickbait made by partisan dimwits, which is apparently what the National Party are making a unprincipled stand over – then their social cost goes up dramatically.
You only have to look at the US attack political social media advertising market in the US to see that. Such ‘fun’ masquerading under the cover of free speech is simply the spreader of lying because of the short clipped editing and over messaging. Almost invariably the over message are at a total variance to the context of the original statements.
It used to be constrained by the cost of broadcast TV advertising in the US and the liability of the channels carrying such ads. But these days anyone with a dinky video editor can make them up and push them through facebook.
It isn’t something that our site has ever done, it used to be a favourite ploy of the paid-for-smearing site Whaleoil. And we have always had the capacity to make whatever we like from raw footage. Video editing is relatively simple, albeit tedious to do. But we made a conscious decision early on to not try to run material that didn’t have a clear and obvious personal opinion behind it – not to distort facts with implicit lying.
So, unlike Andrew Geddis, I simply can’t see any particular value of Parliamentary TV as a provider to content for attack clips. Especially if it appears there are none of safeguards and permission issues that every other provider of video has to be aware of. Ask any provider on TV, movies or documentaries about the legal constraints that they have and you will get an earful. In particular those related to the reuse of the images of people.
I simply can’t see any value in that use for the parliamentary feed, so if the National Party attempt to remove what safeguards there are on the feed, then I suspect that I and others will start playing around on avid or premiere pro with ‘humorous’ clips as a deterrence action. And we will explore the bottom end of the spectrum at a personal level using the free and unencumbered footage from parliamentary TV.
Interpersing images of pigs fucking and Gerry Brownlee speaking in the house. Or Simon Bridges talking up his contributions to raising bridges in Northland with the eventual result and the associated images of drooping failure. Or assisting Sarah Downie and Jamie-Lee Ross in their election campaigns by questioning their taste with the long soap opera glances across the house. These are easy to edit and message for me and any other juveniles. I’ll even help provide the online instructions about how to do it.
However I can’t see any particular benefit to our democracy in the MAD philosophy of simple deterrence of making such adverts descend immediately into the gutter. Given what Simon Bridges is advocating as free speech where the public pays for the feedstock and there are no constraints on its usage, we may as well just head there as fast as possible.
Or I could just start lobbying to kill the budget for parliamentary TV and remove the raw footage. I’m sure that despite the love that many politicians have for their own image, that they won’t mind. Otherwise I have some video that we cut…
But the simplest one would be to just retain some simple rules about usage. Which happen to look largely like the ones in place right now.