It’s a slow news week in Australia. Nothing much worth reporting about; the flood waters have subsided, Federal parliament is on holiday from their rapey calendar, the number of covid cases is back down to zero, and we’re not due a new Prime Minister for weeks yet.
To pass the time, the Sydney Morning Herald news room has borrowed a silver DeLorien, revved it up to 88mph down a deserted George St. and has discovered an important crime against humanity to report upon.
The serious and sober investigative journalist Andrew “Deep Throat” Hornery, kicks us off.
Rebecca Shaw offers us more of the same.
Someone who reads the news off an autocue at SBS gets in on the act.
Finally, back to the SMH with Julia Baird adding to the canon with this one.
When I say “finally”, obviously I don’t mean that’s the end of it; the former news outlet has clearly found a safe target with which the journos can contrast their prescience and righteousness and will continue to ejaculate column inches until the data analytics team point out nobody is actually reading them.
So, what is this sordid story of evil racism and what lessons can we learn?
Well, you may wish to sit down before you read any further as I have some disturbing news for you….
You won’t believe this but a light entertainment TV show made in the 1980s doesn’t, upon review, pass the 2021 Reinheitsgebot.
No, seriously; some of the jokes relied on crude racial stereotypes, sexist and gauche humour which, by today’s standards, are unacceptable.
Shocking, isn’t it. What a marvellous public service the brave and selfless staff at the Sydney Morning Herald have performed to inform us of this.
Andrew Hornery, for example, had to decline a cushy ex-pat posting to Basra in order to bring us the important and vital revelations that a 40 year old TV show didn’t age well.
This truly is the work of a future Pulitzer Prize winner. One can easily envision Mr Hornery being called in to news studios during the twilight of his career to be asked for his opinion, à la Bob Woodward, on the latest scandal. And, as with Woodward, nobody will be interested in a damn word he says until he delivers the moneyshot, which, instead of “worse than Watergate“, will be, “worse than Hey Hey, It’s Saturday“. Bang! Mic drop.
The previous post here was a defence of some aspects of “cancel culture”.
The problem is, of course, lazy journalists take the admirable theme of reviewing the past to learn by our mistakes as an excuse to churn out hundreds of column inches pointing out the bleedin’ obvious: we were all different back then.
What I’ve yet to read is an explanation why the show (which I’ve never seen, by the way) was cancelled? Could it be the ratings had fallen because it was out of touch with the mood of the audience?
What would that say about the discerning Australian public? That they rejected cheap humour based on lazy stereotypes?
That would be inconvenient to the narrative, wouldn’t it?
In the meantime, can someone send a few DVD box sets over to the SMH with the back catalogue of Til Death Do Us Part, On the Buses, The Goodies, The Dukes of Hazzard and, heaven forbid, The Black and White Minstrel Show?
That should keep them busy right up until the point the newspaper is finally closed down.