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The Killing Moon

Written By: - Date published: 4:11 pm, March 16th, 2015 - 75 comments
Categories: broadcasting, internet, Media, tv - Tags: , ,

Two incidences of bullying in the media have been the subject of discussion in the last few days. The first was the alleged assault and racist abuse of a TV producer on the BBC’s Top Gear program by presenter Jeremy Clarkson and the second was a bizarre verbal attack on a performer on music program the X Factor NZ by two of the judges.

What is to be learned from these events? Well, firstly, ratings count. The shows concerned are businesses and they derive a considerable portion of their income and profits from selling advertising slots. And nothing sells time on TV like controversy.

Secondly, social media can be a force for good or it can be used to try to bully decision makers into doing the wrong thing. Both incidents have seen online petitions spring up. In New Zealand there are petitions on Change.org and facebook calling for the removal of judge Natalia Kills. Ironically neither calls for the removal of the other judge, Willy Moon, whose own half-witted contribution was to accuse the contestant of being a closet serial killer. And, sadly, the comments on the facebook page include some misogynist bullying that is at least as bad as the things Kills said herself.

Happily, both Kills and Moon have now been sacked.

In Britain, a right wing blogger has launched a petition for Jeremy Clarkson to be un-suspended from his Top Gear job, despite the gravity of the alleged offence. Astonishingly, that’s now the fastest growing petition on Change.org. There’s a faint echo in that sad fact of the idea that Julian Assange should be forgiven his alleged crimes because he’s also rather popular in some quarters. Of course Julian is unlikely to take Jeremy’s job, should the latter be fired. It’s hard to do a motoring show entirely indoors.

The BBC has tolerated Clarkson’s dinosaur attitudes for far too long. By accepting his behaviour, which has included regular racist jokes, they have set a very low bar. They can’t really sack him because they have encouraged his buffoonery every profitable step of the way. And, here in Godzone, the producers of the X Factor NZ were probably hoping to survive the fallout – ‘we don’t endorse bullying!’ – and get even more viewers tonight with eyeballs glued to the box to see what outrage Kills and Moon will come up with to humiliate the wannabees. What used to be about talent is now about talons.

It’s all too predictable and all too depressing. I thought the interwebs were going to do away with broadcasting, but instead social media has become an accomplice in the bread and circuses that the MSM throws at us. I suppose I could stop watching both shows, but as I never started, that’d be futile. I guess I’ll just have to grimly hang on until free streaming kills the box’s business model.

Hopefully, we won’t have to wait too long. I’m comforted by the fact that the best reality show currently on air in the UK is Gogglebox, which is based around the concept of viewers watching viewers watching TV. It’s strangely fascinating and hopefully a sign that TV is now disappearing up its own fundamental orifice.

75 comments on “The Killing Moon”

  1. In both cases it seems like the bullies have got sorted. Good, I despise bullies – maybe a cleanout is needed here too because the bullies are just ott and nasty, with no regard for others or even themselves. and who are bullies – you know, sort your personal shit out ffs.

    great post title btw

  2. vto 2

    Its nothing to do with your qualities as a person.
    Its nothing to do with whether or not you comply with the law.
    Its nothing to do with your honesty or otherwise.
    Its nothing to do with your bigoted behaviour.
    Its nothing to do with whether you cheat or lie.

    Its nothing to do with nothing of that

    It is all to do with your popularity – and I give you two prime examples in evidence.

    Vladimir Putin
    John Key

    After all, this is what National Party supporters said after the election – “ha ha” they said, “ha ha we proved dotcom was wrong, we proved snowden was wrong, we proved key is honest. Yes we did. We did it by voting for him”.

    Sad fact but so very very true – federated farmers even had an opinion piece saying exactly this. Fed Farmers is evidence of the sad failings of today’s society.

    Fools man, fools.

    • miravox 2.1

      It is all to do with your popularity – and I give you two prime examples in evidence.

      Vladimir Putin
      John Key

      And the popularity of these kind on dog whistlers has let the nasties of the leash.

      I think it’s worth taking note of how the public responds to these vile rants at ordinary people. The acceptability or not of how public figures treat people gets reflected in the real world to some degree – meaning groups of of people become less ‘worthy’ of consideration and respect. They become fair game for openly racist, bigoted etc comments and that includes the verbal ‘war on the poor’ we’re all so familiar with.

      Good to see the mills and boon (ta, oab) petition was to sack them, whereas the Clarkson petition was to re-instate someone who went on a half rant and threw a punch at someone who was passing on a message about his dinner. Classic example of personal responsibility for bad behaviour only being for some people.

      (Kudos to the woman in the bakery for calling Boon out on his tirade as well).

  3. Paul 3

    Distraction: Just another meaningless message to keep you from paying attention to all of the issues that really matter.

    • like what paul – 911, julian, vaccination, homeopathy, duvets vs blankets, the pronunciation of Himalayas… what are the issues that matter, what the hell are they???

      • Hateatea 3.1.1

        The superficiality of the reality television genre, the call to the lowest denominator, pablum for the masses instead of the reality of casualised labour, grinding poverty, the despair of the long term unemployed or underemployed, the cries for help from the unwell and less able in our society. That is what is being ignored while the media encourages us to wait breathlessly to find which talent will be taken forward to the future and which will be thrown to the wolves.

        In the meantime. the latest exploits of the Clarkson buffoon and Kimye fill the column inches where we should be being better informed about climate change and country on country spying or the real state of our economy and how many people are able to live on the income from one 40 hours per week job and how many others juggle two or three and still need WFF.

        We deserve better but we also need to vote with our television buttons and voice our feelings via other media than television because they don’t care unless it affects their bottom line

        • marty mars 3.1.1.1

          Yet at the personal level we saw a vulnerable person get bullied in a nasty, horrible way and the public responded by saying NO that is not on.

          “the reality of casualised labour, grinding poverty, the despair of the long term unemployed or underemployed, the cries for help from the unwell and less able in our society.” That sentiment of ‘NO that is not on’, can translate into all of the BIG issues we face.

          Clarkson – well racism and bully behaviour by those who think they are our betters should be opposed and fought against.

          “we should be being better informed about climate change and country on country spying or the real state of our economy and how many people are able to live on the income from one 40 hours per week job and how many others juggle two or three and still need WFF.”

          Yep I agree and all of those things are happening because those who think they are our betters do it, say it and believe it. Unless we stand up and say NO! That momentum has to start somewhere with some issue someplace…

          • Hateatea 3.1.1.1.1

            I agree that that is probably the one good thing out of that particular happening, except that, despite their protestations, TV3 will be searching for 2 more wanna be bullies to replace them and the sideshow will trundle along 🙁

      • Paul 3.1.2

        Well, not reality TV anyway.
        BTW, why the ad hominem?

        • marty mars 3.1.2.1

          “short for argumentum ad hominem, means responding to arguments by attacking a person’s character, rather than to the content of their arguments”

          I don’t think I did that. Sorry if I upset you.

          I’m just at tipping point around the “talk about the real issue” line – these are real issues to the people involved even if ‘we’ may think it vacuous, simple and unimportant – that’s what they think of ‘our’ real issues – they think they are a joke.

          How to actually engage people in the issues that ‘we’ think are important? Take those issues and expand, extrapolate and push/pull them into the consciousness not ridicule or sheeple them imo. It can be done because when it all gets down to it – everything is personal.

      • Adrian 3.1.3

        Prominent on the Herald website this morning: Benji Marshall’s comments on the X Factor stoush.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.2

      I’m being quite ‘distracted’ by the fact that Kills and Moon rhymes with Mills and Boon 🙂

  4. Alfonso Peres 4

    Hats off for being able to move from the sacking of two nobodies from a popular talent show to the Federated Farmers in under five paragraphs.

    • vto 4.1

      Assuming you are responding to my point at 2 above, yes thanks for the positive feedback.

      It is surprising, but shouldn’t be, that people are the same no matter where. Here of course the silly ideas of the reality tv people correspond to the silly ideas of the federated farmers. And John Key antics correspond to Putin antics. It is all about popularity – Key said it. Television said it. Federated Farmers said it. Putin said it. Ffs, it is all the world is about today.

      Why is that surprising? It aint that hard to identify alfonso – you just need to open your eyes.

  5. weka 5

    I didn’t think the tirade from Kills and Moon was that bad compared to whatshisface on that US show a few years ago. But they obviously seriously misjudged NZ culture to think it was ok here.

    Besides, they should be fired just for thinking they are so cool and original (ah the hubris of the young who haven’t been around very long but think they have). Dress style as intellectual property? what a couple of numpties.

  6. xanthe 6

    Paul Henry

    • b waghorn 6.1

      Don’t remind me only weeks away from that dinosaur cackling at us from TV . Hopefully it won’t be to long before he makes a fool of him self and gets sacked again.

    • Paul 6.2

      What a horrible thought

    • Tracey 6.4

      Was thinking the same thing. he is also a bully and it appears to be one of the main attractions for TV3 to bring him back… he has bullied many people on air over the years and no petitions started (to my knowledge)? What was different is perhaps that the particular reality show has a younger demographic which has been taught about bullying and the consequences and paul henry’s audience is older and ignorant of such things?

      • Molly 6.4.1

        I do wonder if they “bully vicariously” through Paul Henry.

        A man their age saying all those things that you would never even dream of saying because … let’s face it… he sounds like a maladjusted fourteen year old.

  7. Ecosse_Maidy 7

    Reality, Game Show, Non Talent Show Debacle.

    We get the TV we deserve.

    401 channels and nothing on.

    Keys, Cameron, Abbot and right wing clique,
    rubbing their hands together as they say …don’t look here at cuts, lies, non responsible government in your name,

    Look Over there, at very cheap tackiness and start a petition.

    Bridges to be built to not built in Northland?

    Sending our troops without proper legal oversight in harms way?
    Spying On You All, Cook Island or Not?

    Oh Noooooo…..

    Don’t Look into any of that,,,Look at Reality Benefit Fraudsters,

    Watch judges demeaning contestants, See A TV Presenter commit ABH and start another aghast petition.

    TV The Methadone subsititute of The Masses and the friend of the ruling establishment…

    On The Other hand,,,,Please feel free to switch the fucker off!

    • Anno1701 7.1

      “Television, drug of the nation , breeding ignorance and feeding radiation”

      disposable heroes of hiphoprisy

    • Tracey 7.2

      At least it appears the audience of this show understands bullying when they see it and to stand up to it. It seems they could teach the older demographic alot.

  8. felix 8

    Hilarious. This whole fiasco was engineered to be a distraction from Willie Moon’s #digraceful misogynistic attack on a woman at a Kingsland bakery the other day.

    They thought they were smart enough to manipulate the media, but it turns out they’re too stupid to be on a reality tv show.

  9. idlegus 9

    Love Gogglebox! Best thing on telly (or youtube as the case is for me), the celebrity one is hilarious especially Kathy Burke. Narrated by Caroline Ahern of Royle Family fame to give you an E.G. of the humour.

  10. TheContrarian 10

    “he first was the alleged assault and racist abuse of a TV producer on the BBC’s Top Gear program by presenter Jeremy Clarkson”

    Which part of the article details the “racist abuse”? Are my eyes failing me?

  11. North 11

    Careful that this whole business of a ridiculously indeed sadly conceited young woman and her dickhead husband on a fucking rubbish reality show (designed more to put big bucks in the pockets of grey money people than anything else) – doesn’t generate amongst ‘us’ the heat that homeopathy does. All this ultimately rancourous soul searching about whether we care enough, widely enough, I dunno ?

    Already I sense mature commenters here sniping and slashing at one another. For me it’s enough to belly-laugh at OAB’s “Mills and Boon” and suspect that this ugly pair weren’t just “sacked”. They got mean lettters from Russell McVeagh or Simpson Grierson leaving them in no doubt that their behaviour is actionable under the “bringing into disrepute” clauses in their contracts which had them both in snivelling tears. And running to first/business class check-in. Where with impunity she can be a little madam and he a studied toff. At 14 years of age both of them FFS !

    Let’s not waste energy on these nasty wee nothings “Mills and Boon”……, please ! Surely there’s nothing wrong with saying “Good fucking job !” and leaving it at that.

    • Murray Rawshark 11.1

      How can they be married if they’re only 14? As far as I know, they don’t live at Coopers Beach.

  12. Murray Rawshark 12

    “There’s a faint echo in that sad fact of the idea that Julian Assange should be forgiven his alleged crimes because he’s also rather popular in some quarters.”

    I’ve never seen anyone promote that idea. I suppose we all see echoes where we want to see them.

    As for the tv show – Marty Mars makes a lot of sense when he suggests we start from what people do care about and widen it.

    • marty mars 12.1

      Thanks Murray but my thoughts have gone well over the heads of the righteous, humourless, ivory towered fundalefties here – fuck I despair for the left and this site sometimes – I need a break from this bullshit – I’m banning myself for a week 🙂

      • Murray Rawshark 12.1.1

        Sometimes I get down on my knees and give praise to my atheist gods (I decided to be a Hindu atheist because there are heaps more to not believe in) that I didn’t learn my leftiness at a university. I was a lefty who went to uni late in life to get an interesting job. I almost feel like joining you in that week.

  13. greywarshark 13

    What used to be about talent is now about talons.
    That’s a good line.

  14. tc 14

    Aside from the obvious play on the human condition these shows are very cheap to make up against drama, comedy etc.

    Few sets, locations, actors, scriptwriters with directors and producers stringing it all together and extracting performances.

    They set it up with the subjects, judges tick the emotional boxes in pre production then shoot the crap out of it and assemble it in the edit suites knowing they’ve got all the elements.

    Reality TV is cheap TV and with NZ on Air funding and a whopping ad revenue and spin off activities make it gold. Ben Eltons ‘chart throb’ satirises it well.

  15. Jay 15

    I’m finding X Factor very enjoyable for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that a few of the artists are very talented, and it’s great to see them living their dreams.

    While it’s easy to sneer at people who enjoy them, it’s all a matter of taste when all is said and done isn’t it? The degree to which you enjoy reality TV is not, as far as I know, in inverse proportion to your IQ.

    While many here will welcome the deserved sacking of Natalia and Willy, you don’t have to look very hard on this blog to find plenty of accomplished bullies who make the Mr & Mrs Moon look benign.

  16. Tracey 16

    Is it possible that the younger demographic of this show has taught everyone something? That anti bullying programmes in our schools work and that educated in the harms of bullying and educated in how to spot it they won’t stand for it. And that younger demographic stood up and were counted? The older demographic watching the show probably went to bed and slept like babies after watching it. The younger mobilised.

    • miravox 16.1

      It would be interesting to know if some people in an older generation had a hand in setting the scene for that abuse – scripted ‘reality’? I guess the amount of money these two fools got paid would give an indication if the bullying was going completely off script or the head honchos simply misread their audience.

      • Puckish Rogue 16.1.1

        When I watched the clip what she said didn’t seem to flow, it seemed forced and at times like she was trying to remember what to say

        • felix 16.1.1.1

          Yeah it was a bit like reading your comments here.

          • Puckish Rogue 16.1.1.1.1

            Difference between her and myself is that I mean what I say on here, she was either prompted to say what she said or was trying to raise her own profile and probably didn’t believe (or care) what she was saying

  17. Jay 17

    I’m 42. Me and plenty of my friends “mobilised”. Has there ever been a time when bullying like this was acceptable? Certainly not when and where I grew up.

  18. millsy 18

    Contrast this with a real kiwi reality talent show, Homai te Pakipaki. It has been running on Maori TV since 2008, and ordinary people can just turn up to the studio (some times out of the bush in Ruatoria), do an audition, and sing on live TV, and everyone just has a good time. No nasty judges (it is a contest, but the viewers vote via text, and the hosts give nothing but encouragement), and people of all ages and background get up and have a go.

    A lot more real than some imported format that focuses on public humiliation.

    They could have at least found judges who have had music industry experience of note.

    • Rodel 18.1

      millsy- sounds good. Must have a look.
      I generally dislike shows where people are ‘judged’ by celebrities. The ‘I’m superior you’re subordinate’ attitude just doesn’t appeal to me.
      Auditions OK. There’s a professional and necessary reality about them .

      • freedom 18.1.1

        “Auditons OK. There’s a professional and necessary reality about them ”
        Except there isn’t any reality about them Rodel. The auditions are where the manipulation of the viewer begins.

        There are the public call outs, and the hopefuls appear, only to be seen by people who are not the TV judges. The hopefuls appearance before the TV judges comes later, for a select few, once the initial selection has been made. This initial selection includes a few ‘fails’ and ‘terribles’ whose efforts are later presented as junk food treats for the reality-tv audience to gorge on. This interim period is where the ‘back-story’ pieces are sourced and spliced into the long lines of hopefuls. So, come broadcast time, the viewer has already been manipulated.

        All in all the reality of these shows is akin to the health benefits of energy drinks.

        For me, Dave Grohl sums it up in this comment

        When I think about kids watching a TV show like American Idol or The Voice, then they think, ‘Oh, OK, that’s how you become a musician, you stand in line for eight f****** hours with 800 people at a convention center and then you sing your heart out for someone and then they tell you it’s not f****** good enough.’ Can you imagine?” he implores. “It’s destroying the next generation of musicians! Musicians should go to a yard sale and buy an old f****** drum set and get in their garage and just suck. And get their friends to come in and they’ll suck, too. And then they’ll f******* start playing and they’ll have the best time they’ve ever had in their lives and then all of a sudden they’ll become Nirvana. Because that’s exactly what happened with Nirvana. Just a bunch of guys that had some s***** old instruments and they got together and started playing some noisy-a** s***, and they became the biggest band in the world. That can happen again! You don’t need a f****** computer or the Internet or The Voice or American Idol.”

        http://deltaskymag.delta.com/Sky-Extras/Favorites/Rock–n–Roll-Jedi.aspx

        • One Anonymous Bloke 18.1.1.1

          +100

        • millsy 18.1.1.2

          Well its a lot easier to obtain recording equipment than it was 15-20 years ago. Any PC can be turned into a recording studio with the right software, and amps/mixers and microphones can be obtained online.

    • rawshark-yeshe 19.1

      @tracey — wondering if Joe has a libel case against TV3 for broadcasting suggestion he was a murderer intending to kill the audience ( as per Willy Fading Moon) ? Was so far away from any judgment of his singing or performance, I would suggest it would be way outside of any releases he has signed? And live TV has at least a 15 sec delay and TV3 made the decision to broadcast and be damned ?

      • Tracey 19.1.1

        INteresting observation… I didn’t know the had a 15 second delay…

        • rawshark-yeshe 19.1.1.1

          I am pretty sure of it … will check … would he have a case you think ?

        • rawshark-yeshe 19.1.1.2

          @tracey … curiously, TV3 XFactor production has told me there was no delay on the broadcast on sunday night. (How perfectly and astonishingly careless of them.)

          In that event, I would think Joe, if he wanted to, could have a case against them for NOT having a delay and preventing the defamation of being a potential sadistic mass murderer. ( I think what Moon said is far worse than wife Kills.)

          TV3 is 100% liable as far as I’m concerned. Thoughts maybe ??

  19. Sable 20

    I haven’t watched it in five years if that tells you anything. Its either moronic games shows or the sleazy MSM journo’s on the so called news spreading the neo lib word….

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