Ep 105: Back to You, Journeyman

This week we talk about Back to You and Journeyman in our look at the Fall Lineup. A serious Raywatch brings a sombre note to the show before we can laugh at the world again with a Raywatch related Quote.

We announce the winners of last week’s Quiz and we bring you all the News and Pork you could possibly want.

It’s 105 reasons to watch TV and then talk about it:

And if you’re talking about it, why not tell us what you think.

Also, just a bit of an early erratum. Towards the end of the show Brett says that Robyn Butler is married to Bob Franklin. This is incorrect. She is married to Wayne Hope.

55 Comments

  1. Oh CRAP! Somebody’s in trouble for passing me that erroneous tidbit.

  2. Regarding the new WorkChoices ads: Rudd has been incredibly successful in making people realise Howard is shifty, deceitful and desperate. For all the Coalition’s scrambling, its approval hasn’t been even remotely healthy since December, mainly because the public has stopped listening to Howard. Most people are intelligent enough to know Howard’s using these ads to score himself three more years. Right now I don’t think [i]any[/i] ad would be effective.

  3. Whether or not Stan Grant was nasty to Mary, whether or not he’s a massive arsehole, can we at least stop referring to him as the host of Real Life as if it was the only thing he’d ever done? While I’ll be first to admit he was an absolute joke at that time (literally, on Frontline) he’s since earned some serious chops anchoring breaking news on a global network and working as their Beijing correspondent. That’s gotta be worth something, doesn’t it??

    One more thing, please don’t bag the shit out of Nine just because it’s the only bulletin you saw that night. If Nine’s crew was the only one outside Cindy Gambino’s house last Saturday I’ll give each of you a million dollars.

    And, yes… it was live. Whenever it’s pre-recorded, they won’t call it live, or super it live. Believe it or not. None of you will.

    Yours,
    Grumpy in Paris.

  4. Dear Mr Sensitive,

    You’re 100% correct. Stan Grant did earn some respectability stripes in Asia. That doesn’t mean that his reputation here is not still tainted by his local past. He might deserve more respect but Australia (or at least the part of Australia that watches SBS news) doesn’t work like that.

    I’m also sure you’re right that the other networks were probably outside Cindy Gambino’s house (although I’d love that million dollars) but does that mean that Nine shouldn’t have the shit bagged out of them or that they shouldn’t have the shit backed out of them in isolation? Let’s face it, it’s a pretty shitty practice and nobody should be doing it. At some point one of the networks should stand up and say “We’re not doing this crap anymore”. We would hope it would be Nine because they have the history and reputation of being a solid news source. And then maybe Seven would follow. Ten would never think of passing up a piece of unnecessary sensationalism so there is no hope for them.

    Kind regards,
    Considerate in Melbourne.

  5. For fuck’s sake Kinal!

    The audience for SBS news is exactly the part of Australia which could be assumed to be looking outside of Australia. Unlike the rest of Australia. If not even they are doing that then there’s no hope.

    As for the Farquarson story, anyone who’s ever heard the term death knock knows that it’s not a new phenomenon. In fact, contrary to Ross’s highly scientific conclusions (not) there’s less of this sort of stuff going on than there ever has been in the past. The ’90s saw the low point. When a journalist stood on the roof of a house in Frontline and shouted, “If you loved your daughter you’d come out and talk to us,” that was based on a real incident. There’s not a chance in the world that would happen today.

    The death knock has happened since TV news was invented. In fact, since newspapers were invented.

    What I object to is the bullshit, blanket and – far too easy – assumption that everyone who works in commercial television news is a heartless, tabloid, muckraking c nt. That’s an easy generalisation for people who never have to think about what it’s like to gather news. It’s not easy to look at the prime minister and ask him whether he’s lying either but somehow that’s more noble when Kerry O’Brien does it.

    Look, bottom line… I covered the Farquarson story when it first happened. And I was abused for days on end by the people of his town for being unfair to one of their honest, upstanding citizens. Tell it to the jury, Winchelsea c nts.

    That was one of one of my worst weeks in journalism. (And there have been a few.) Not because I got absued, and not because it offended my pride. But because I’m a human being too and having to deal with people who are dealing with the loss of three young boys – at one point – left me in unstoppable tears in a camera crew car. And one of you should know this better than anyone.

    And if you think that sounds like disingenuous excuse-making then find someone else to talk to you on the first Monday of November because I’m seriously offended.

  6. And furthermore, if you think that a declaration by Nine that we’renot going to death knock anymore would induce Seven to do the same, then you’re living in fantasyland. Seven would think they’d had a win and so would Ten. And they’d keep doing it relentlessly.

    And the f cking viewers would watch it in their f cking droves.

    Because, here in the real world, the outraged people who write into (text?) the Herald Sun’s 50/50 column are actually the worst offenders.

  7. ping feedburner! this episode isnt in the feed yet…

  8. I love the pole dancing comment, thats a great quote. Fry’s comment about “Learn the words” sorry I mean Singing bee, gave me a great chuckle too. I’m glad I’m not the only person in the world who lets out a cheer when Neighbours is over (and Futurama starts!).

    As for Stan Grant he is in the same region as people like Derryn Hinch, Naomi Robinson because to me all he has done is Today Tonight (he was the Adelaide host for a while). He is awful as a news reader, and the SBS news is a mess these days with their fancy titles (but still doing everything via phone), and “coming ups” its just awful. I say go back to the 30 mins and bring back World Soccer, I mean World Sports.

    As for Advertising, I think Work Place Relations is a dead horse. I have noticed they have started moving from the “happy campaign” and into the place the Liberals work well, the “Scare campaign”. The online is evil ads (yes boys you are evil!!!) eg IM is evil, Gaming is evil, and the Drugs will destroy you ads. I’ve been seeing much more of these (especially on SBS) than any others recently. These ads will be the ones that turn their campaign around (I hope they dont but they are their best bet).

    I’m just hanging out for the election so they can get back to advertising proper things like McDonalds (but not during C programming because McDonalds never advertise there, yes thats a quote from McDonalds).

  9. @FTC: The episode is definitely in the feed. After last week’s problems with iTunes, I specifically went to check that it was up and refreshed the feed. I also checked to make sure iTunes downloaded the ep.

  10. Been awhile since I was in a New Camera Car. But I am going to have to back James on this one. On one level the “death knock” is a terrible thing, but he is right in saying that Nine would not have been the only crew there. James might be able to clarify this in more detail, but usually you get the call to a story and (well this was how it was for the camera crew) you only had a vague idea of what it was about, the story developed once you got there. The other thing is, James is right, that sort of thing is going to rate. Its a Ambulance chaser moment. Everyone stops to look.

  11. Stan Grant may have changed his ways from when he was doing tabloid current affairs (tautology?) by going north and getting into some serious anchoring in Asia but it’s the confluence of a number of changes at SBS, including Grant’s return, that makes their news service suck now.

    The ads, Kostakidis being elbowed off the serious stories and into the background to present the fluff, repeatedly going over what you’ve missed and what’s coming up (which the ABC are still persisting with) and the introduction of the ‘soft bottom’ – the tabloid story at the end of the show – which was then moved to earlier in the bulletin – all of these things have developed since the arrival of Stan Grant. If SBS really respect him for his serious news chops, why is the bulletin heading for the realm of Real Life?

  12. Sad news for Insiders viewers:

    Tumours hit top columnist
    MATT Price, The Australian’s popular columnist and commentator, told colleagues yesterday that doctors had discovered tumours in his brain.

    The 45-year-old journalist and author, who is in Perth with his wife and three teenage children, will undergo exploratory surgery tomorrow.

    “We are entering a long, dark tunnel with no guarantees,” Price wrote in a message to his colleagues.

    “Still, if hope, prayers, friends and thoughts count for anything, I’m off to a good start.”

    Price – a prolific journalist who files for The Australian and News Limited’s Sunday newspapers, and appears regularly on ABC radio and the Insiders program – has vowed to continue contributing to the papers during the federal election campaign.

    Source

  13. Jimbo & Quatre de Cinq’o:
    Let me throw a mealy-mouthed disclaimer in: I’m sure you’re both lovely, moral, upstanding citizens. I’m sure you both smell nice, floss regularly, and pat kittens often.
    But…

    Using the “well, the other lot do it too” argument is frankly – bullshit. It’s irrelevant that Nine is ‘more moral’ than Seven, or ‘not moral, but we feel bad about it afterwards’; either way – just accept that the news team involved is prepared to ignore ethics for a paycheck. Some of them ignore basic human decency for a paycheck.
    And beyond that – who asked them? I’ve had it out in previous threads about the fourth estate barging in unwanted: it’s up to the cops, the judiciary, and various ACCOUNTABLE bodies to hash out legal issues and decide fact from fiction. It shouldn’t be the role of paid lobbyists – which is all that ‘News’ is in this country… paid lobbyists for the Packer family, paid lobbyists for the Murdoch family, the Macquarie Bank, or whichever circus ringmaster pays the clowns

    Two more points (hopefully short)-
    a) Jimbo, at what point do the people involved go the the higher-ups and say “off the record, between you and I – that last story was a low, c nt act. You sir, are a scoundrel”. Sometimes? Ever? NEVER? As I say above, ‘feeling bad afterwards’ is no substitute for a working human soul: you have to actually stand by principles, or they don’t count. Yes, even if it means losing a comparitively cushy job.
    30 pieces of silver, and all that.

    b) Remember the fabulous Jon Stewart/ Tucker Carlson “Crossfire” takedown? Paraphrasing (’cause I can’t find an exact transcript right now)-

    JS: “Stop hurting America and come work for us-”
    TC: “How’s the money?”
    JS: “Not- Not good. But you can sleep at night

  14. BTW guys – Kimberly JOSEPH was the female host of Oz Gladiators, not Kimberly Davies.
    Clearly there was a difference in talent…

    err…

    Wasn’t there? Wasnt there?!

  15. …and it was Mike Hammond who co-hosted it. Not Aaron Pederson.

    Mike Hammond does work for Foxtel now and is a very good host.

  16. iTunes is a fine program. Use it for my podcasts and music collection in one program and for my iPod. It’s only a shit program in the wrong hands.

  17. When you say ‘fine’, Mike, do you mean like a fine gold necklace or do you mean acceptable? iTunes is OK for podcasts – both downloading and listening – but it feels a little like a straight-jacket to use. I have a number of subscriptions, some for listening, some for future reference.

    It bugs the shit out of me that I regularly have to tell it that I want to continue downloading a podcast when it decides that I haven’t listened or watched it enough and that I have to keep telling it the same fucking thing over and over again. Why can’t there be a simple setting in the preferences to just keep downloading everything I tell it to?

    Why can’t I move the media files around my own hard drive and inform iTunes of the move so I can still play it in the player?

    Why isn’t there a simple navigation method using the keyboard, rather than having to drag the little diamond up and down the timeline with the mouse? Maybe just a simple arrow left/right with modifier keys to define the amount of time I want to jump…

    Why did Apple decide that the podcast standard should be screwed around with and added to with proprietorial tags, meaning that a separate feed must be created for iTunes users to all the other podcast downloaders? Isn’t that just as bad as Microsoft implementing JScript in Internet Explorer, rather than the proper Sun JavaScript? Wasn’t that part of the anti-trust suit the DoJ ran against M$? Surely Apple are behaving anti-competitively.

    And iTunes has always been bloatware – hogging a ridiculous amount of system resources – and just getting worse with almost every new version release. QTTask? Get fucked. If I want to play a MOV file, I’ll wait a half second for the driver to load rather than forgo that memory and those CPU cycles.

    iTunes Helper? Every time I start my system and before I ever want to start iTunes? Get that shit out of my process list.

    iPodService? I’ve never had an iPod, the more this shit goes on, the less likely I’m ever to have one. I don’t ever need that loading up.

    AppleMobileDeviceService? What the FUCK??!!! The iPhone won’t be released in this country until 2008. We don’t even have the telco that they’ve locked people into. Even if we did, while Apple release firmware updates that turn the thing into a brick if there are any changes made to it, they can go fuck themselves. Not something I’m going anywhere near for at least three years and yet there the little shit is, with its claws stuck into almost 3MB of my memory.

    The latest I’ve heard is that the Safari browser will be forcibly included in the install files for iTunes and installed on all Windows machines with no option to decline. I wonder what damage I’m going to have to clean up after that little cunt comes through my system. I’ve already lost work by iTunes install programs shutting down my mail client and browser without asking, in the past.

    Unfortunately, I have an audience that needs to be supported on the platform, so I need to have my own testing system, and there are a number of podcasts that are only released in iTunes that are not compatible with other apps because of the proprietary tags.

    Seriously, Apple have been heading down the M$ path of business ethics for more than three years and it’s only going to get worse. I just wonder how long the sheep-like bleating of the Mac-evangelists will go on before they wake up to themselves and to what Apple are over-charging them for.

  18. OK. Deep breath.

    Let me publicly – as I have privately – apologise to Ross and Josh for attacking them personally. I know they don’t mean it that way and I hope they know I really don’t either. But clearly this is a subject which raises passions. Mine in particular!

    I wrote: “What I object to is the bullshit, blanket and – far too easy – assumption that everyone who works in commercial television news is a heartless, tabloid, muckraking c nt.”

    And sure as night follows day, there’s MordWa proving me right.

    Mate, I don’t know what you do for a living and it doesn’t matter. The fact is (as far as I know) all you know about me is what I do, and who I do it for. You have no idea what kind of person I am. You don’t know my background, my parents, my upbringing. My passions, my likes, my dislikes, who I vote for. You don’t know whether the fuck I cry when Bambi’s mother gets killed or laugh my fucking arse off. So I thoroughly object to you lumping me in with your cliched view of the television news reporter.

    To answer your direct question, there have been a number of occasions when I’ve objected to particular stories or interviews. I have always been heard.

    fourthof5, I don’t know which network you worked for, or where, or when, but it doesn’t matter. What you say is right. So often the story develops before your very eyes as you stand there watching it. In those cases, I can attest to a number of occasions when I’ve returned to the newsroom to tell my boss – the Nine news director in Melbourne – that I’m not comfortable with what we’ve shot or the manner in which it was gathered. On EVERY occasion this has happened, his response has been that he trusts my judgement and the tape hasn’t been run.I know others who have done likewise. I grant you that not every journalist is like this, and nor is every news boss. But some of us like to think that we try.

    I’m not going to pretend there aren’t commercal imperatives. I’m not going to pretend we aren’t trying desperately to win. As for legal issues, the footpath is public property. The back fence is not. You’re not trespassing until you’re asked to leave.

    And for the record, MordWa, a surprising number of people WANT to talk to the public when they’re in that situation. I never understand why. I know I wouldn’t. But I figure all I can do is ask the question and if they say yes, that’s their business.

    I never met Kerry Packer. I’ve never met James Packer. I have NEVER been issued an instruction about how to report a story in relation to how it affects the company or a political party. And if you think someone like Laurie Oakes would cop that kind of shit, you’re kidding yourself.

    Guess what MordWa, I wasn’t on the fucking grassy knoll either. Stop painting me as a cliche.

    In between the rubbish, there’s plenty of valuable news imparted to the good people of the nation. Even on the commercial stations.

    Maybe my job is comparatively cushy. Even during the frequent 20 hour days. But I take it extremely seriously and know I have a grave responsibility in discharging it. I never forget this.

    As for Tucker Carlson, he’s a commentator. That’s a very different thing. His corporation sets him up to be deliberately antagonistic so people who agree with him will keep watching and, perversely, people who don’t agree with him will keep watching him to see why they loathe him.

    So while sarcastically saying that you’re sure I’m lovely, moral and upstanding, you better belive I sleep like a baby. For about four hours a night.

    Which probably explains my grumpiness!

    Again, guys, apologies. If anyone tries to take my first Monday of the month slot I’ll beat them up. Cos I’m that kind of journo arsehole!

  19. brett, re iTunes bloated software rant…

    didnt you install vista by choice?

  20. David Boxcutter says:

    iTunes is a good application. Brett, you’re just going to have to deal with the fact that peoiple like using it.

    It might not be the best podcast client in the world – but there is a lot more to iTunes than downloading podcasts. I haven’t seen any other media player with such a nice implementation of “smart playlists” for managing music, and nobody else has an online store that’s as nice as the iTunes store.

    Why can?t I move the media files around my own hard drive and inform iTunes of the move so I can still play it in the player?

    I believe you can. Just move them, and double-click on the file (if iTunes is your default player) or drag it onto the application icon. But why do you want to move the files, anyway? I just listen to them. I’m not sure what moving them around achieves.

    Why isn?t there a simple navigation method using the keyboard, rather than having to drag the little diamond up and down the timeline with the mouse?

    There is. Just set up your own shortcuts. Personally, I use a jog/shuttle controller designed for video editing to skip through iTunes tracks.

    Why did Apple decide that the podcast standard should be screwed around with and added to with proprietorial tags, meaning that a separate feed must be created for iTunes users to all the other podcast downloaders?

    Mess with the standard? Proprietary? Isn’t XML desinged to be eXtensible? Adding your own tags is supposed to be what it is all about.

    Also, why wouls you need a separeate feed? That sounds like the fault of the other podcast clients. They should either ignore or utilise the iTunes tags. If extra tags break these clients, then that sounds like a bug of the client.

    As for why they did it – well, to offer more features, and make the podcasts more usable. What’s wrong with that?

    Isn?t that just as bad as Microsoft implementing JScript in Internet Explorer, rather than the proper Sun JavaScript? Wasn?t that part of the anti-trust suit the DoJ ran against M$? Surely Apple are behaving anti-competitively.

    I really don’t see how using XML as it was intended to be used is in any way anti-competitive. How can you compare this to Microsoft’s implementation of Javascript, which was clearly intended as an attack on Sun?

    Just how is it an anti-competitive issue to add features to a product, that don’t (or shouldn’t) infringe on anyone else’s product? Is there anything stopping other players and clients from reading the iTunes tags?

    And iTunes has always been bloatware – hogging a ridiculous amount of system resource

    Maybe on Windows it is, but Windows itself has always been bloatware – so the situation is kind of circular. If you hate bloatware, what are you doing running Windows in the first place?

    iPodService? I?ve never had an iPod, the more this shit goes on, the less likely I?m ever to have one. I don?t ever need that loading up.

    So, kill the process.

    Even if we did, while Apple release firmware updates that turn the thing into a brick if there are any changes made to it, they can go fuck themselves.

    Now you’re really getting into batshit crazy territory. The firmware update did not deliberately “brick” the phones. But why should Apple go out of their way to make sure unsupported hacks work?

    Sounds like you’ve been listening too much to haters and propagandists.

    The latest I?ve heard is that the Safari browser will be forcibly included in the install files for iTunes and installed on all Windows machines with no option to decline.

    So now you’re listening to unfounded rumours from said propagandists. That’s pretty sad. People have rumoured just about everything about Apple in the past.

    Why don’t you wait to see if they actually do it before you start bitching about it? My bet is that this will not happen. People made the same complaints about the Quicktime installer coming with iTunes. But again, unfounded, as the Quicktime installer is available standalone.

    and there are a number of podcasts that are only released in iTunes that are not compatible with other apps because of the proprietary tags.

    Again, why are you blaming the tags for what sounds like a client software problem? And why are you calling it proprietary when it’s just XML?

    Seriously, Apple have been heading down the M$ path of business ethics for more than three years and it?s only going to get worse.

    I don’t think Apple have ever bought out companies just put them out of business. Apple have never forced OEMs to pay for their OS, even when they sell machines without it installed.

    There’s a long way to go before Microsoft levels of business ethics are reached. You haven’t even demonstrated a single case of Apple screwing with any other companies.

    I just wonder how long the sheep-like bleating of the Mac-evangelists will go on before they wake up to themselves and to what Apple are over-charging them for.

    Man, you really are over the edge. It’s funny how some people are much more zealous in their criticisms of “Mac Zealots” than even the most zealous Mac zealot can get. Seriously, what’s up with this shit? most of those “zealots” are just people who enjoy uising their Macs, but there seems to be serious hate coming from others, just because people like to use Apple products.

    What’s it all about? It doesn’t make a lot of sense, because Apple fans are usually Apple’s biggest critics – not blind followers. But the blind rage of the anti-Apple crowd astounds me.

    The products we’ve been “over-charged” for? Got any evidence to back that one up, mate? Apple’s products are very price competitive. Sure, they might not make low-end cheap pieces of junk – but what you get is definitely worth the money. What is it with computers that people only seem to look at price? When it comes to cars or clothes, nobody has a problem with paying a bit more to get something nicer. But among so many computer users, it seems to be some kind of cardinal sin to pay anything more than the absolute cheapest prices. My computers are my tools of work, the one thing I use more than anything else. Why shouldn’t I want a nice computer?

    You’ve got one serious chip on your shoulder there, Brett. Why all the rage? I guess I’m just ignorant and blind. After all, I don’t think for myself. I just let Apple rip me off. Whatever they want, I pay it, without question!

    Oh, enlightened one… help me save myself from the evil clutches of Steve Jobs, whose image decorates my shrine at which I pray daily.

  21. “Why did Apple decide that the podcast standard should be screwed around with and added to with proprietorial tags, meaning that a separate feed must be created for iTunes users to all the other podcast downloaders? Isn?t that just as bad as Microsoft implementing JScript in Internet Explorer, rather than the proper Sun JavaScript? Wasn?t that part of the anti-trust suit the DoJ ran against M$? Surely Apple are behaving anti-competitively.”

    ——–

    I have done a number of different podcasts since 2005 and have never had to have a different feed for iTunes. Never had any problems with it.

  22. OK…..

    So, forgetting about software stuff for a moment…..

    Has anyone caught up with either Journeyman or Back To You?

    (not seeking to quash the passionate discourses, just redirect them slightly)

  23. David Boxcutter says:

    FYI Brett:

    Fastforward/rewind in iTunes on a Mac is Command-Option-arrow keys.

    On Windows it’s Control-alt-arrow keys.

    Hope that helps (assuming you actually wanted to solve the problem and not just rant about it).

  24. catbrain says:

    WOW. Was there a full moon in the last 24 hours or so?? Continuing on the discussion a little, I just wanted to say that I believe the viewers are very much to blame for the cult of celebrity or notoriety that leads to so-called “death knock” reportage. People lap this shit up; I think, perversely, there’s a bit of schadenfraude in there – knowing that it’s happening to someone else and not them. Don’t be so quick to shoot the messenger.

    Also, referring to Burma as Myanmar can be considered to be supporting the current military junta in that country, as they are the ones responsible for changing the English name from Burma to Myanmar.

    And just so I can join in on the bitching: in the style of Alexei Sayle, Where’s Me Crumpler?

  25. catbrain says:

    PS: That’s really rotten news about Matt Price. I’m going to miss seeing him laughing derisively at Bolta and Akerman on Insiders.

  26. @Mike Beckham
    Actually Aaron Pederson was a host of Gladiators in its first year alongside Kimberly Joseph (whose name I will never remember because of a desire to never see her again in anything).

    See this listing on imdb for more details.

  27. Jimbo,

    I admire your passion, but I think you should’ve taken a second deep breath…

    Did you miss the mealy-mouthed disclaimer I started with? I say pat kittens, you say cry for Bambi’s mother? Did you just choose to ignore it so you could get all that off your chest/to whack what you consider an easy target? Oh well…
    I’m a big boy and can take it – whack away.
    *friendly chuckle*

    I’ll have to summarise a response, because I don’t have time (tonight) for a more detailed one – regrets, because I think your post deserves one… besides, this’ll be long enough!

    – I don’t think all network news is heartless – I think it’s basically ethics-less, and runs screaming from the slightest hint of accountability. Which is an entirely different animal to heartless. It’s the whisky priest example, in short (google it, kids). And I think your organisation and it’s competitors prove me right often enough to ohh, let’s say provide a weekly ‘Raywatch’ segment. Purely by way of example.

    “thoroughly object to you lumping me in with your cliched view of the television news reporter.”
    Objection noted. I disagree violently that it’s ‘just a cliche’, but I note the objection. The reason there’s a cliche, is because of past form. Are you (as an industry, collectively) really so offended that you’re being judged on past form? Honest question (ie, no malice intended): is it really so unexpected? Politicians, used car salesmen… then reporters.

    – By way of example, if I make my current real estate agent put everything in writing on a contract because I got burned by a previous one, does the current one have the right to be offended that I didn’t take him at his word? Even if he’s one of the 40% honest ones?

    – For what it’s worth, you chose to leap in and act a defender and spokesman for the TV news industry – if you now choose to be personally offended on it’s behalf, well – in the nicest possible way – more fool you. I realise there’s something of a disconnect of intentions here – you were personally involved in the Farquarson story the boys were talking about, my comments were intended more generically…
    Take that for whatever it’s worth.

    “a surprising number of people WANT to talk to the public when they?re in that situation. I never understand why. I know I wouldn?t. But I figure all I can do is ask the question and if they say yes, that?s their business.”
    Yes… and some people need protection from themselves. In pretty much any interview scenario, you have all the power in the relationship, and a la Spiderman, all the responsibility. “That’s their business” you say? Exactly the issue; whether you have the responsibility to interview, edit, and report fairly. Is it even possible to interview someone on the footpath and not portray them as dodgy? When they’re asked the same question repeatedly – they look shifty, don’t they? It’s part of the technique. And they may even deserve it – but it’s not up to the media to determine right from wrong – that’s why we have very extensive civil and criminal justice systems, with checks, balances, appeals, accountability.
    I stand by my point that the media are just commercial busy-bodies with far too much influence for the supposed good they provide. That the general public give them that influence unthinkingly – I concede that point. But I don’t like, no sir.

    “In between the rubbish, there?s plenty of valuable news imparted to the good people of the nation. Even on the commercial stations.”
    Ahhh… it depends on your given definition of valuable *tongue in cheek*
    At the risk of putting you out of a job, I recommend everyone try going cold turkey on the news for a few weeks and see how wonderfully it improves your outlook on life *chuckle*
    – it’s irrelevant whether you have ever been given a directive as to how to report a story. Simple example from the print media: You don’t need to tell Andrew Bolt or Piers Ackerman what to write. They’ll put their stuff in, and what is chosen for print affects the tone and direction of the paper. Jimbo, you have a style of reporting. It may be pro-, anti-, or scrupulously fair. Does every story get run? No. By choosing which stories to run you choose the direction of the editorial line. By knowing the editor, you know which stories will be given preference. You don’t need to give directives to achieve a result; it’s more subtle than that. And doesn’t leave incriminating memo’s.

    – good god, this has gone on too long. This was the summarised version? Egad.

    – What’s the difference between Tucker Carlson being deliberately antagonistic, some Richard Wilkins type entertainment reporter being deliberately sicophantic, the sports guy being deliberately blokey, Mike Munro being deliberately parody-of-human, or reporter-on-scene-as-bastion -of-fairness? They’re all ‘showbiz’ versions of themselves, and they’re all just acting.
    Aren’t they?

    Quick (serious) question #2 (since I seem to have your attention) – what’s the difference between a ‘reporter’, a ‘jounalist’, a ‘documentary-ist’ (sic) and a ‘presenter’.
    And does it matter?

  28. FYI Josh –

    be fair – I wouldn’t mind seeing Kimberly Joseph in Black and White magazine again –

    *wolf whistles*

    err. I think I’ve said too much!

  29. I’ve no intention to turn this into Geek Weekly so I’ll be brief.

    Brett: I might sound a little bit eager here, but as a Linux user I don’t have the need (or ability) for iTunes, or Safari, or any of this Apple lock-in rubbish. I have an iPod and love it to pieces, but I use gtkpod to do all the transfers. Apple knows nothing and can do nothing.

    IcePodder (or CastPodder, or whatever it’s called now) is excellent for podcasts; you sometimes need to populate the mp3 tags, but that’s 100 times easier than battling iTunes.

    While you’re tied into iTunes for testing reasons, a few listeners may benefit from this. There are plenty of Apple-free options for Windows too.

    Apple’s philosophy in general is to make things easier. For those of us who know what we’re doing, it’s incredibly restrictive and dogmatic and, frankly, unusable. For people like my mother, it makes things easier. iTunes is a very well designed, very intuitive application. Apple rarely does proper manuals anymore because its software is engineered to make sense.

    Although I heartily loathe any app that installs six others by force.

    ——

    And now, a nice joke:

    Q: How many Apple users does it take to change a light bulb?
    A: None. Why would you want to change the light bulb? Can’t you just work in the dark?

  30. @MordWa:

    You don?t need to tell Andrew Bolt or Piers Ackerman what to write. They?ll put their stuff in, and what is chosen for print affects the tone and direction of the paper.

    Murdoch journos will argue to the death that News Corp takes an open and bipartisan line on politics. So clearly the gung-ho rabid conservative lunacy of all 150+ of its press outlets is sheer coincidence.

  31. @Adam D. Thats an old Klingon (star Trek) joke.
    How many Klingon’s does it take to change a light bulb? None. Klingon’s are not afraid of the dark.

    I am up to date on Journeyman, I rather like it. On a separate issue. I am struck by the similarity in terms of cast between Chuck and “Reaper”. I like both, but they are almost the same show in terms of characterisation. Also on a separate issue. I now see the major commercial networks in the US are moving a way from the “if its not a smash hit in the first ep, its canceled” idea. Both CBS and NBC are allowing shows to grow and develop. They have ordered more shows of “The Bionic Woman” and “Life” despite the fact that they have had less than stellar performances in the ratings. Fox of course will continue to kill anything thats even remotely good.

  32. David Boxcutter says:

    First, I’ll start with some TV-related comment just to stay a little on topic.

    Mad TV have been doing some pretty good Apple/Steve Jobs parodies lately. I don’t think I’ve ever heard Mad TV mentioned on Boxcutters before.

    ————-

    Brett: I might sound a little bit eager here, but as a Linux user I don?t have the need (or ability) for iTunes, or Safari, or any of this Apple lock-in rubbish.

    Hmmm …. how does iTunes or Safari lock you in to anything? That makes about as much sense as saying that your Linux players lock you into something.

    I have an iPod and love it to pieces, but I use gtkpod to do all the transfers. Apple knows nothing and can do nothing.

    They can do nothing? Right… they just popularised the Graphical User Interface and totally changed thw way we interact with computers, influencing Windows, Linux, the entrie face of modern software and human interaction.

    Apple?s philosophy in general is to make things easier. For those of us who know what we?re doing, it?s incredibly restrictive and dogmatic and, frankly, unusable.

    Frankly, that’s ridiculous. You don’t really seem to know much about Apple users. There are plenty who know what they are doing, among their ranks some of the world’s best software developers, scientists, graphics, video and effects people, etc.

    Wheras, I find a lot of people who consider themselves computer geeks or “power users” actually don’t do much except tinker with their computers – it’s not a means to an end for them, messing with the computer is the goal. Hell, I used to love tinkering with computers – I wrote my own software in the 80s, I even made my own hardware peripherals. But I have better things to do these days. I’d rather use the tools to schieve other things.

    If you have challenging jobs to do, why make it more pointlessly difficult? I’ve found that the “Mac way” actually makes it much easier to do sophisticated things. You can focus on doing the work, rather than fighting the OS. Seriously, Macs have been at the forefront of technically advanced fields like publishing for a long time. Photoshop started out on the Mac, for example. And the tools gave the ability to meet deadlines with ambitious projects. That’s the reason why you see a lot of Macs in production houses – they are a reliable tool where the other computer/software systems couldn’t handle the job.

    Can you show me some evidence of how it is unusable and restrictive? Seems I have more choices, I can do things using the GUI, and I can do things with a UNIX command-line. I can use powerful industry-standard proprietary software, or I can run Open Source software.

    Where am I being restricted?

    I don’t understand all the hate. Apple users generally don’t go around categorically insulting other people like this. But for some reason there is a certain type of person who goes around saying all Mac users are faggots – or that Mac users are incapable of being technically competent.

    The interesting thing is that so much of it stems from ignorance. Oft-repeated stereotypes, and plain misinformation. So many of the haters seem to have so little experience of actually using Macs for more than 5 minutes. Wheras you’ll find that Mac users generally have broad experience with other systems, particularly Windows.

    This is what makes Brett’s “Apple users are sheep” comment so ironic. Apple users have generally made a conscious and informed decision to do so. Especially those of us who were users in the “dark days” before Jobs’ return to the company. Many of us were ridiculed at every turn, because we didn’t go along with the “herd.”

    I’ve never actually met one of these sheep-like, unquestioning Apple users that I hear so much about on teh intarwebs. But I personally know many people who spent heaps of money on a Windows machine just because a salesperson told them to. I know countless people who avoided using a Mac (when it would have suited them perfectly) just because they were scared of using something “different” or because some “techie” (usually not someone very smart) made them think they would suffer in misery if they dare chose to buy a Mac. The FUD runs really deep.

    Which is why it bothers me when I see otherwise intelligent and rational people subscribe to the batshit-crazy misinformation that gets spread. Fortunately this stuff has declined a lot in the last 10 years, as Apples have become much more accepted. But it’s amazing to see it rear its ugly head like some kind of flashback from 1996, in the most unexpected places, like Boxcutters.

    It seems like we’ve been making some headway in geek culture into becoming more civil and mature, but the childishness just doesn’t seem to want to go away.

    Different people prefer different hardware and software. Big freakin’ deal.

  33. @Adam D.

    Actually, I tend to believe Rupert himself *IS* open and bipartisan – to whichever side allows him the opportunity to expand his empire/influence further. It isn’t even about the money these days- he an old man and clearly has one eye on ‘the legacy’.
    That said – it’s just easier for him to do business with less impediments (like say, unions, bodies of oversight, etc) and governments that allow greater concentration of media.
    Notice he doesn’t have a problem doing business with China, for example.
    Also, you have to factor in what he actually wants versus his employees perception of what he wants – and lord knows how you work out that.

    Or am I thinking of that Bond villain from ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’, again?

  34. Er, nice jump off the deep end there, David.

    Because this is a TV site I’m keeping my response as short as possible.

    Hmmm ?. how does iTunes or Safari lock you in to anything?

    I took Brett on his word about Safari, so I was probably wrong there. By ‘lock-in’ I meant forcing QuickTime onto you when you install iTunes, etc.

    They can do nothing? Right? they just popularised the Graphical User Interface and totally changed thw way […]

    You misread what I said: Apple does not, and cannot, know what you put on your iPod if you use gtkpod.

    Also, by the magic of reading, you’ll discover that half my post was in praise of Apple.

    Can you show me some evidence of how it is unusable and restrictive?

    Objectively? No, because it’s my opinion. I wasn’t aware the UN was taking minutes.

  35. Where’s the love gone? WHERE’S THE TELLY TALK??

    If conversations about grammar are frowned upon, can we please give the same treatment to the iTunes/iPod/Mac v PC comments as well? If the podcast has a problem, just fix it – don’t go on about why it’s a problem. If people have suggestions about what they think would be an improvement to the site (the in-site player stuff), send it in an email. PLEASE. I’m sick of the bitching.

    Now, let’s get back to poking Nine and jimbo.

    *skips away*

  36. @cb

    Well which is it you want? more love, or more poking?

    [suddenly possessed by spirit of Benny Hill, Frankie Howerd and Sid James]

    Can’t do both, nudge nudge fnar fnar, “no missus no!”, etc ohh whoopsie guv’nor, actress-bishop, etc etc…

    *chuckle*

  37. I’m with you Ceebs.

    Fourth – thats interesting about Reaper and Chuck. Haven’t seen Reaper yet, but we’re doing Chuck on next week’s show.

  38. catbrain says:

    @MordWa – Suits you, sir!

  39. David Boxcutter says:

    I took Brett on his word about Safari, so I was probably wrong there. By ?lock-in? I meant forcing QuickTime onto you when you install iTunes, etc.

    That’s not lock-in. Lock-in is when an application stops you from migrating to another application. For example, if iTunes did not let you move your music collection to another application.

    What you are describing is “bundling”. But I don’t see how Quicktime bundling is aproblem. iTunes wouldn’t work without Quicktime, it provides the underlying engine. What would be the point of iTunes without Quicktime? It would not work.

    Now, even if Apple were bundling Safari with iTunes (which they aren’t) – why would this be unethical? It’s their product, and one they give away for free. What obligation do they have to give it to you in a particular way?

    All this talk of “force installing” seems rather whiney and off the mark. Brett makes it sound as though Apple thugs come to your house and force you to install the applications.

    If you don’t like a company’s products, or the way they behave – there’s a simple solution – don’t install it. Isn’t there a TV analogy about an off button somewhere here?

    You misread what I said: Apple does not, and cannot, know what you put on your iPod if you use gtkpod.

    I’m not sure what the issue is here. They don’t know anyway. Apart from what you buy from the iTunes store, Apple doesn’t keep any record of your music library through iTunes.

    Objectively? No, because it?s my opinion. I wasn?t aware the UN was taking minutes.

    Well, I’d like to hear some specifics, because I don’t see what you can’t do an an Apple system that you can on Linux or systems.

    I like Linux myself, and I like the Free software philosophy and the concept of Linux even more. I’m someone who knows what I’m doing, but I couldn’t use Linux professionally. There just isn’t the professional graphics software available. It’s impossible to do quality pre-press work on Linux, because the GIMP doesn’t support CMYK images, for example. I can’t do professional video editing on Linux, because there is no pro-calibre software for it.

    So, perhaps you can see how there might be power users who know a lot, and use Mac, because it is actually less restrictive than the other options? I can always recompile Linux software for the Mac, but I can’t recompile commercial software for Linux.

    But I don’t go around making sweeping statements about Linux users, or Windows users. Different people have different needs to me. But why do so many go around putting different users down?

    Anyway, my main beef is with Brett. Your arguments are a lot more balanced than his, Adam. I think it’s rather rude of him to make a bunch of unfounded arguments – then insult an entire category of people – and then disappear. Why won’t he address the rebuttals? All I’m seeing is a lot of stereotypes that aren’t grounded in facts.

    He might have had some valid concerns about iTunes, but how did he get from there to insulting Apple users?

  40. PLEASE shush about the Apple now.

    Hey, with an election on the horizon, how much fun will it be dissecting political adverts? Buckets is my guess. Most viewers will be so scaremongered from all sides that they’ll just explode.

    MordWa: Precisely. At the moment it’s the conservatives who’re giving Murdoch all the love. In five years it could be the Climate Change Coalition. Who knows where it’ll go. Right now I’m just glad Murdoch has little/no free-to-air clout in this country.

  41. Oh, by political adverts I meant actual party-funded political adverts, not the ‘information dissemination’ bullshit that Howard’s been peddling all year.

  42. I did that today when I first saw the election being announced. I went to “The Age” and “The Herald-Sun” and looked that the choice of images both used. The Herald Sun surprised me with a beaming Johnny and a worried Kevo. The Age was more formal though. They seemed to have changed the images now.

  43. I thought both presented bad images of Howard and nice images of Rudd. Weird. 🙂

    I’m hunting for election ads but I’ve not seen any yet. Maybe they won’t start until the writs go through.

  44. catbrain says:

    Just seen an ad on Nine – L plate Rudd and Swan and Gillard (I think) labelled as bound to the unionists. Libs banging on about how good they are for the economy.

    Game on, bitches.

  45. Fair and balanced

    Prime Minister John Howard wants to debate Labor leader Kevin Rudd just one week into the election campaign.

    He is proposing the live audience debate take place in the Great Hall of Parliament House next Sunday, moderated by Sky New’s political editor David Speers.

    In a letter to ALP national secretary Tim Gartrell, Liberal Party federal director Brian Loughnane queried Mr Rudd’s availability for the debate and set out the terms under which it would occur.

    A panel of five senior journalists, chosen by both parties and the National Press Club, would take part but there was no indication audience participation would be involved.

    So incredibly grubby.

  46. The government of the day always sets the terms of the debate. Rarely (if ever?) do they take questions from the audience, and I can happily live without The Worm.

    I reckon Howard will use it to make some policy announcements, hoping to catch Rudd on the hop.

  47. True, but normally it’s held in a neutral location [not the PM’s turf] and conducted by a comparatively objective arbitrator [not a Murdoch editor]. Farcical.

    Rudd responded by [again] requesting three debates in which questions will be taken.

  48. Has Howard ever won a political debate during an election? He usually gets thumped…

  49. David Spears does not take sides (neither does Sky News). It isn’t Australia’s FOX News if that’s what you think…

    I reckon Spears is possibly Australia’s best Political reporter.

  50. Jeez, I leave the room for one minute and look what happens.

    MordWa, I haven’t been dodging you. I actually managed to get a couple of days off and went away for once. Ross, you wouldn’t believe the sight of some of our old mates when one of them marries a Slovakian girl… in Slovakia!

    MordWa, I think you make a couple of good points, even though I’m not going to address them just now. Maybe there’s a disconnection between whet I think I try to uphold day to day, and what many of my colleagues in the past and in the present do to give the very fair impression that we’re all shonks. And I think that’s why I get so fired up about it – because some of us genuinely do try.

    Ross, you’re right – Howard has never won an election debate. It’s written in his new biography that he suffers badly from nerves and it always shows. I watched in person last time as Latham gave him a pasting. It was the only real high point in Labor’s campaign.

    The incumbent always sets the terms. Catbrain’s right about that. The opposition always requests three debates knowing they’ll only get one, yada yada.

    However I’d forgotten til recently that Keating refused to debate Howard at all in 1996. Pity. It would’ve been great to see Keating in full flight take Howard apart!

    But these days I’m not sure a PM from either party could get away with refusing to have any debate at all.

    Either way, the campaign’s going to be a ripper. Game on!

  51. Now that the ALP has responded with what’s essentially a no, the whole bickering session is in massive danger of boring the punters to distraction.

    I do, however, maintain that holding the debate in Parliament House (i.e. Howard’s own turf in viewers’ eyes) is designed to disadvantage Rudd. Aren’t they usually held in television studios?

    Also, only having one right at the start of the campaign is clearly a ploy to get the whole thing out of the way as quickly as possible. Ironic, when you consider Rudd could balls it up completely.

    And yes, having recently been in Slovakia I can attest to the quality of ladies. There’s nothing to do in Bratislava but it doesn’t actually matter.

  52. That’s okay Jimbo – I have the advantage of not being directly involved in the industry, I can afford to be more black and white with my passion; the eternal scream of the outsider – “Things should be better!”

    And now – as we take a deep breath and await the next thrilling episode of who’ll storm out of the blog first boxcutters, let’s all show there’s no hard feeling-

    *plasters goofy grin on face*

    Kumbaya, my Lord, kumbaya
    Kumbaya, my Lord, kumbaya
    Kumbaya, my Lord, kumbaya
    O Lord, kumbaya

    Someone?s laughing, Lord, kumbaya

    *hugs everybody*

  53. Howard’s performance on The 7.30 Report tonight was easily the worst I’ve seen since the John Hewson days. Just awful.

    Bundle of nerves, stuttering all over the place; going way, way off message about Japan for some reason; physically reaching out to the audience, just like he did when he announced his retirement; and he openly snubbed Kerry at the end of the interview!

    O’Brien: ‘Thanks for your time Mr Howard, I look forward to next time.’

    Howard: ‘I’m suuuuure. [rolls eyes]’

    The whole thing was just weird. If you didn’t see it, find it somehow.

  54. You should be able to see it here:

    http://abc.net.au/7.30/

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