Boxcutters Episode 100

100 episodes – 100 reasons to smile.

Big name guests, surprises, enormous givaways… we’ve got none of it. Thats right for ep 100 we just decided to go classic Boxcutters. Three guys eating cake and talking telly. An ep with the lot. One of everything. All our segments are here, including: News, Ratings, a Raywatch actually about Ray (and Mary And Gary), an all time classic on Things You May Have Missed, a very special I Don’t Buy It, a look at new show The Kill Point, an investigation into Media Watch, Quotes, Quiz and of course some Pork.

Thanks to Catbrain for the delicious cake.


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    1. awesome – im the first to congratulate you on 100 eps. best podcast in australia (and i’d hazard a guess that you’d give the rest of the globe a run for their money)

    2. Yeah, congrats.

      Media Watch is fairy floss now. The ABC is a lost cause and SBS is run by greedy munters. Television is dead.

    3. re: ‘Gladiators’ – I believe the most successful ex-Gladiator was John “Vulcan” Seru – who at least got to play Generic Thug #23 in the Bond film ‘the World is not enough’. No idea if he tried to attack Bond with one of those oversized q-tip thingaminies…
      Also successful – albeit in a totally different field – Geoff “Comando” Barker, who is Mr Bessie Bardot, as well as the smarmy co-host of Foxtel’s ‘Erotic Star’ show.
      *beats head against nearest tree* – “Why do I remember these things?!”
      As for ‘It’s a Knockout’, for those too lazy to google ‘Laughing-boy” (as Bugs would say) was Billie J. Smith.

    4. ‘Heh-heh-he’s fallen over!’

    5. Thanks Mord! Vulcan – thats who I was trying to think of…

    6. I have always liked SBS. Its charter is such that it has always placed culture above profit, its very sad to see it change to profit over culture. Having said that, they have been airing some great Zombie flicks for the last few weeks.

    7. No worries Ross – It’s always nice to go back to the days when there was real competition; both Gladiators, and ‘Man O Man’ were Saturday night attempts to knock Hey Hey its Saturday off it’s ratings perch. (excuse my perhaps faulty memory, but it think it was ‘Xena’ that finally felled the great beast)

      ‘So what’ some might say – but it’s hard to imagine sinking that much time and money into winning just the Saturday night timeslot these days. Let alone the much missed Vizard/ Robertson/ Kennedy battle for the 10:30pm slot…

      …I’m sure it wasn’t just my memory- the Networks really *did* try harder back then, yes?

    8. Yes. But you also had Packer sinking exorbitant funds into his network just to ensure it won everything. Now that 9’s, well, a bag of shite, the others don’t need to try nearly as hard.

      Also, American crap is cheaper.

    9. Just look at Gladiators – the arena for all the games, the oversized props, half a dozen pumped up muscle people, Mike Whitney – endless expense.

      Now they would just hire Whitney and do a clipshow. I still can’t believe the mileage Ch 7 have got out the ‘Comedy Classics’ shambles. “Hey look – repeats of shows that were shit-house 30 years ago…”

    10. Actually, I suspect it was the license for the name and the insurance that would be the kicker – really, the oversized props aren’t THAT expensive; they still seem to find some crap lying around for the Friday Night Games craptacular…

      …not that I’m that desperate to have those shows back. It’s just a general rumination on how ‘you’ve got to spend money to make money’ has led to giving it away with nothing in return
      (Bert, Ray, and Fuckwit Eddie, I’m looking at you

    11. Congrats on 100 episodes (I nearly wrote 100 Years)!

      One thing I never thought I would hear:

      “That’s an interesting move for Play School”.

    12. Well Big Brother is dying worldwide, so that’s a start. What will replace it? Quiz Monkey Prime Time Edition, probably.

    13. 1hr 40mins – not bad guys!

      I don’t really notice if its longer than usual, I listen in blocks. Last week I listened from Wednesday – Saturday in different blocks so essentially if you did a 3 hour show it isn’t hard to listen to as I don’t listen in one go.

      So there’s a challenge! 3 Hours 😛

    14. I wonder if more of Sensis is being carved off into separate businesses, as it also covers GIS (eg: Whereis), Trading Post and CitySearch – all reasonably profitable arms.

      According to Ausiello, Kristen Bell looks set to do Heroes and theatre – so both of you were correct.

      Perhaps the most successful person post-Gladiators is Kimberley Joseph – the other names on the show seemed to be on the downward slide. And wasn’t Billy J. Smith a Stan Zemanek lookalike?

      I heard a report on RRR news today that Ray Martin had previously threatened to quit if John Westacott was appointed NewsCaff boss – now that the appointment has been made, perhaps he has just carryied through on a matter of principle. Good on him, if that’s the case.

      I would quite enjoy Lee Lin Chin reading the news – she’d be way better than Stan Grant and I always enjoyed her late night bulletins “back in the day”.

    15. Rob Boxcutter says:

      Again, congratulations on the big 100.

      You know, now I absolutely must watch The Kill Point (as would any grammar-obsessed crunchy granola eater).

      Can we have the Boxcutters verdict on Flight of the Conchords and The Bronx is Burning?

    16. A couple of Crikey articles peeps might be interested in, pertinent to news stuff going on in the last week:

      from Glenn Dyer: The many (Nine) lives of John Westacott

      from Margaret Pomeranz: There has been a cultural genocide at SBS

    17. oops… seems the Westacott article is subscriber-only content. Never mind – here it is in full:

      The many (Nine) lives of John Westacott
      Date: Tuesday, 28 August 2007
      Glenn Dyer writes:

      So John Westacott has the top job at Nine in news and current affairs. That certainly shows the value of taking the boss on a jaunt around Sydney Harbour on your vintage yacht. Now for the changes.

      Westie has trained for the top job by taking an intensive degree in management at Harvard University years ago and by twice attempting to leave Nine for Seven, once while in charge of A Current Affair and once at 60 Minutes.

      The time at ACA was in the early 1990s when he attempted to leave Nine for Seven and take Jana Wendt and others with him. Then at the end of 2002 he made a similar threat, aiming to take at least one 60 Minutes to Seven.

      Despite these two standout examples of network disloyalty, he was retained by David Leckie, then Nine’s boss, and then by David Gyngell the man in charge in 2002 and a great Westie mate.

      Westacott holds a grudge. That will be bad news for A Current Affair boss Darren Wick. It was Wick and David Hurley who organised Westacott’s overthrow as boss of A Current Affair back in 2004 when David Gyngell was running Nine. An implacable foe was created.

      The ACA coup saw Westie’s oversight of the program removed and one of his favoured mates, John McAvoy (husband of 60 Minutes reporter, Tara Brown) and a 60 Minutes producer, moved upstairs to oversee factual programming. ACA switched from the ”upmarket” approach of John Alexander, which Westie encouraged, to the present downmarket skew.

      Wick, who now oversees A Current Affair, was heard to say that if Westie got the news and current affairs job he (Wick) was ”gone”. He may be replaced by John McAvoy.

      Like Ray Martin, Westie has clung to Nine and watched people he worked closely with — like Jim Waley, Jana Wendt and Peter Meakin — boned or leave because the regime of John Alexander and James Packer became too much to bear.

      Like Martin, Westacott could have stood up to the changes inflicted by Alexander and Packer, but remained silent through successive regime changes.

      Westie flourished under David Gyngell, the former Nine CEO. His salary rose sharply and topped $1 million in 2005. That led to the sum of $1 million being called a “Westie” at Nine. He was the highest paid producer in the Nine Network at the time. He is now on less than half a Westie after his pay was slashed by Sam Chisholm after Gyngell’s departure.

      He has considerable experience as an executive producer at 60 Minutes, Today Show and Business Sunday, but he has little experience as an actual producer, making stories week in, week out, or reporting. He has no news experience whatsoever (except for the ill-fated The National on the ABC 23 years ago).

      The thing that separates him from his direct opponent, Meakin at Seven, is the flood of non-news programs Meakin has put to air: from Money, to RPA, to The Block, Meakin has had a hand in the development of lots of ideas.

      Nine’s problems are in its 6pm news broadcasts: fix those and their lead-ins and a lot of other problems disappear. And the first problem to fix is the Sydney 6pm news, and heal a newsroom is riven by splits and a lack of leadership.

    18. Guys, big congratulations on becoming centenarians! The show continues to be compelling listening and may there be many more episodes to come!

      For what it’s worth, I would be happy to suspend a hostage negotiation or just about anything else I might be doing because of a misplaced apostrophe. Yes – punctuation nerd me.

      On the matter of Channel Seven’s AFL story and the ensuing controversy: Ross, I think it was you who said that Seven’s news was clearly way out ahead of everyone else on the story. However, I think it may be worth considering the possibility that the confidential medical files in question were peddled to a number of Melbourne media outlets. Only one of those outlets chose to buy them and run their contents.

    19. Really? Is that the case Jimbo, or an assumption? The reason I ask is that I was watching Craig Hutchinson on Fotty Classified Monday night and wondering if he had the opportunity would have done the same thing… My conclusion was he almost definitely would have, but that is based solely on what we have seen from his prior behaviour.

      Fascinating story. Seven really appear to have done themselve a lot of damage here.

      Also, maybe you can use your contacts to help us get an interview with Nine’s Tony Jones. He seems like the hardest working man at Nine (aside from yourself of course). Last night he did an extended live cross from outside Seven, a seperate report on the horse flu stuff AND presented sport… He’s like a rookie cutting his teeth on a limited resourced regional news service.

    20. westivan says:

      Yes!! I remember Playaway – and now I’ve got the damn theme song stuck in my head…… Did you know that Tony Robinson was on it? youtube even has a clip of Jeremy Irons singing the song

      It really doesn’t matter if it’s raining or if it’s fine
      Just as long as you’ve got time
      To p-l-a-y playaway-away-way playaway play-play-away
      Way play away playaway

      Great show guys – love your work

    21. Ross I’ve often told TJ he reports like a rookie… he doesn’t like it much! The hardest-working man in television, the Godfather of Sport. I can think of a couple of Nine employees who work harder, but not many.

      As for the medical files, that was just assumption on my part. I really don’t know. But no individual journo could make such a story happen. You’d still have to get a news director to agree to include it in the bulletin.

    22. As for a James Talia doppelganger on Channel Seven, I don’t think Mia Greves would be very happy to be spoken about in such terms.

    23. Ahh, but jimbo that’s the crux of the issue though, isn’t it? The whole idea that various media are willing to pay for stories- without there actually knowing beforehand that there is a story to buy.
      Tangentially, it’s an unspoken factor that people hate ACA & TT because they know – or at least sense – that they use the trappings of “journalism” to go where you or I would fear to tread.
      Now this may be “too deep” for a single thread on a podcast/blog – just why is it that news people get special dispensation (re : protection of sources, semi-exemption from contempt proceedings) – it seems to me, they get a total ‘free ride’ out of all proportion to the service they provide.
      When was the last time a news organisation/ current affairs show actually earned those privileges?! Are we talking months, years, or – Watergate ONLY?
      They gave themselves the title ‘the Fourth Estate’ – do they actually deserve it?

      postscript: apologies if I’m bumming you out. This is (obviously) a sore issue 🙂

    24. You are bumming me out. I’m so sick at the moment I can’t do anything except sit here and blog. So I won’t do so for too long.

      Don’t take for granted what the news media does. Yes, a lot of rubbish is reported. But think of the stuff, day to day, which no one would know about otherwise. I guess I’m thinking particularly about political stuff.

      For the record, the t6erm the fourth estate is centuries old. It wasn’t conferred on the media by the media.

      And there’s no exemption for contempt at all. That’s why two Herald Sun reporters were recently tried in the Victorian County Court for refusing to reveal the source of an explosive federal politics story. The court demanded it, they refused, they were hauled over the coals.

      Now, back to my poor tonsils…

    25. Centuries old? I think not…
      The term Fourth Estate refers to the press, both in its explicit capacity of advocacy and in its implicit ability to frame political issues. The term goes back at least to Thomas Carlyle in the first half of the 19th century.

      That said,
      Novelist Jeffrey Archer in his work The Fourth Estate made this observation: “In May 1789, Louis XVI summoned to Versailles a full meeting of the ‘Estate General’. The First Estate consisted of three hundred clergy. The Second Estate, three hundred nobles. The Third Estate, six hundred commoners. Some years later, after the French Revolution, Edmund Burke, looking up at the Press Gallery of the House of Commons, said, ‘Yonder sits the Fourth Estate, and they are more important than them all.'”

      From Wikipedia – and using Jeffery Archer as a source.
      Uhhh… well, I feel good about the veracity of THAT explanation.

      As it stands, journalism today consists of “Politician A says this, Politician B says that, aHA! Conflict!”

      Was there ever a time when journalism actually consisted of “Politician A says this.
      Now – here are the facts

      Supposedly ratings go up when there is conflict displayed with the story. True? Or just another meme that we’re stuck with, I wonder?

    26. I wanted to reply so as not to look as if I was dipping out on the debate but I’m so couch-stricken I’ve had a replacement arrive all the way from LA.

      What I meant was that however many centuries, it certainly wasn’t the 20th century. So it’s not as though it was some sort of fake legitimacy dreamt up by the London Sun in the ’80s.

      As for conflict? Yeah, it makes a story better. However, if political reporting becomes a bit he said/she said, it’s often done in the name of balance. Never underestimate how quick spin doctors will be to call journos and give them an absolute bollocking over some perceived bias. They’re usually wrong. But I’ve had some extraordinary calls of that type over the years. And I think the leaqst you can do within a story is give both sides their say.

    27. “He said/she said”; ‘the least you can do’

      That’s the most succinct explanation of what’s gone wrong in the News game.
      Well played, Sir!

      …there’s just too damn many ‘least you can do’ stories…

    28. Rob Boxcutter says:

      Changing the topic just a little bit . . .

      Flight of the Conchords (HBO, 1st season currently airing in the USA, picked up for a 2nd season) is a real gem. Funny and quirky as all hell. I can’t get enough of Jemaine and Bret and their “digi-folk” musical parodies. The show is not easily categorised. It’s definitely on the edge . . . of something . . .

      What say you?

    29. ActualChad says:

      I haven’t seen last night’s Kath n Kim yet, but I’ve seen the first two of this series and frankly it’s as funny as I remember. The only difference I found was that I EXPECTED the jokes. I knew what was coming. When you look back to the earlier series, the viewers were naive as to what sort of humour it was, but now everyone knows what to expect: the misused words, the double entendres, the realistic relationship of Brett and Kim vs the fantasy relationship of Kel and Kath (eg, the baby birthday budget argument vs Nicole and Keith). I don’t think I would blame Riley and Turner for the disappointment, I think it’s more a case of “been there, laughed at that” for the audience.

      In comparison, I remember seeing only one episode of the last AbFab series and thinking “this is frigging awful” simply because it has turned the corner from funny to angry.

      So, did we hype “Blink” too much? I watched again and still thought it was great.

      “Things happening. Well? four things. Well, four things and a lizard….’


    30. ‘It’s a timey-wimey detector! It goes “bing” when there’s stuff.’

      Last night’s Kath & Kim was awful. Truly awful. It feels like they’ve lost touch with the social class that gave them the idea in the first place.

      Also, the increased budget means they’re thinking bigger. The show’s strength was always in playing up the small things, like Sharon’s twenny-buck jeans; somehow that’s turned into completely incongruous prosthetic forehead gags that are neither convincing nor funny. It’s wrecking the show.

      And what’s with awkwardly shoehorning omgfamous people into every episode? What next, Bob Hawke playing the postman?

    31. catbrain says:

      @Adam D: I totally agree about the all-star guests… the show jumped, IMO, the minute Geoffrey Rush appeared; although, it must be quite exciting for Riley & Turner to have a show so popular that famous types are asking to appear.

      @ActualChad: no way did you overhype ‘Blink’ – one of the best eps of Doctor Who in a very long time. (I loved ‘The Empty Child’ as well, but I reckon ‘Blink’ had more suspense.) Less Russell T. Davies, please, and more Mr Moffat.

    32. Another thing about Kath & Kim (Misha Schubert just reminded me): Don’t be protesting about politics in an apolitical sitcom. Just don’t. I hate Howard as much as anyone with a brain, but I don’t ram it down the throats of my colleagues.

      If a political point had to be made, it should have been Kath & Kim discussing what a wonderful man Johnny is, how he’s so fair and humble, how he’s so kind to the ab-o-riginoooooys etc., i.e. parodying the outer suburban bogans who still support Howard. Not having a jarring bitch about workchoices.

    33. catbrain says:

      But those “outer suburban bogans” you speak of wouldn’t even think about indigenous issues…they’re going to be interested in the things that are closest to them, ie: how much money they make, how much they spend on their mortgage, how much time they have with the family and how much stuff they can buy.

      I agree that they should leave the political stuff out of it. It’s a fine line to tread between being seen to support a particular party and being ridiculously flippant about important issues.

    34. @catbrain:
      they?re going to be interested in the things that are closest to them, ie: how much money they make, how much they spend on their mortgage, how much time they have with the family and how much stuff they can buy.

      Yes. Yes. Absolutely. I made that last post half-asleep so didn’t have a better example to hand, but yes, exactly. They wouldn’t know a Torres Strait islander if one fell down their chimney.

      I need to understand where Riley and Turner were mentally when they wrote this season. It’s just dreadful. Ted Emery’s still on, Riley/Turner/McKenna are still producing, the script editors seem to have been carried over. Even make-up and wardrobe are managed by the same people. Therefore, it has to be the scripts and the scripts alone.

      My theory is that Riley’s & Turner’s (new?) production company secured such a good deal with the ABC for series 3 that their lifestyles changed very quickly. Add to that the enormous wads of cash 7 is chucking at them and you can safely assume their personal lives are different enough that they’ve propelled themselves completely away from the Fountain Gate classes. (Normally I wouldn’t speculate on people’s private lives, but in this case I’m convinced it informs their work.)

      It’s not about class anymore, it’s about characters and character alone. The all-new cartoon bent doesn’t work either (e.g. Sharon, sunburnt, jumping in the pool and sizzling in the water).

      I think it’s too late to rescue now: the public’s already losing interest, and once a series declines people don’t tend to return. They need to call it a day and move on to one of the other projects they seem to have in mind.

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