Balneus

Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

Chaser running strip would be better than The Worm

Posted by Dave Bath on 2007-10-17


Why should Howard be able to ban "the worm" from his broadcast debate with Rudd.  Surely, the more people see broadcasts, the better for democracy, even if the Chaser boys put a "strip" running on the bottom of the screen, cartoonists are scribbling over the top of the video, or the broadcast is subtitled with Roy and HG doing a voiceover.

After all, voiceovers, strips, and graphics are often placed over parts of broadcasts from parliament – something much more official than a debate: we see these on TV every day.

Indeed, it’s likely that satire laid over the debate would more truly reflect the inner thoughts of the politicians than the words coming from their mouths.

I can guarantee that an extra broadcast with a satirical overlay would get many more viewers than a "straight" feed.

So, here’s a taste of what I’d like to see in a second broadcast after the standard prim-and-proper ABC version:

Journo:  Mr. Howard, have you any intention for more changes to industrial relations?

JWH:  We have absolutely no intention to make changes to WorkChoices, we think we have the balance right.

Voiceover:  Yeah, he never mentioned other planned legislation, "HealthyWorkplaces" that will tackle obesity by making lunchtime illegal.

Journo:  Mr. Rudd, given ALP support of almost all Howard policies, why should Australians vote for someone who is untested?

KR:  Well, {Journo’s given name}, we bring a fresh and dynamic approach …

Voiceover:  He’s merely more fluent and younger, so he won’t do the Howard "arhgharghargh", and he isn’t bald so lighting in TV studios will be simpler.

Journo:  Mr. Howard, what is your key aim for another term?

JWH:  I’m proud of our record of economic management, bringing more prosperity to more Australians…

Rolling Strip:  {Figures detailing the longest ever trade deficit, record national debt, increasing mortgage defaults}

Journo:  Mr. Rudd, what are your major priorities in your first year in office?

KR:  Well, {Journo’s given name}, first let me say this, we offer a fresh approach to matters of national importance, and will address those issues which …

Satirist:  have been identified by our pollsters as worrying people

KR:  …will offer the greatest opportunities for Australia to move forward in the areas like health and fair work-life balance…

Satirist 1:  The Kevster’s showing his masterful use of avoiding any specifics…

Satirist 2:  Yes, he seems even better at saying nothing than the reigning champion, nothing that sounds threatening…

Satirist 1:  Unless you are a member of the shadow cabinet voicing ALP policy

Satirist 2:  Oh, I think he’s actually about to say something meaningful…

Satirist 1:  No, it’s just a serious expression rather than his Sunrise amusing nice-guy look.

KR:  … fresh, dynamic approach …

Satirist 2:  What’s the world record for number of words without actually saying anything?

KR:  … and inclusive society …

Satirist 1:  Ooh, that’s a bit risky, almost as risky as been seen as a smartarse and saying "Gong hee fah choi" to get the Asians in Bennelong

Moderator:  Thankyou, Mr. Rudd, and moving to the next question: Mr. Howard …

KR:  … approach that is dynamic and fresh …

Moderator:  Thankyou, Mr. Rudd.  Mr. Howard …

KR:  … but first, let me say this …

Satirist 1:  I wouldn’t mind him talking so much if he’d only said something that differed from "Honest" John …

Satirist 2:  Apart from WorkChoices?  Oh and saying his team aren’t climate-change deniers?

Satirist 1:  No, they both want China to keep buying lots of coal and keep donations coming in from industry.

Satirist 2:  Uranium?

Satirist 1:  But, what about ALP policy?

Satirist 2:  Depends on what his told to do… if the Yanks and Chinese both want …

Satirist 1:  So by "dynamic" he means able to bend over for both of them at the same time …

JWH:  … the Australian people can trust me …

Satirist 1:  {Splutter}

Satirist 2:  {Splutter}

Rolling Strip:  Two leading satirists die tragically from choking on their lattes when John Howard uses the word "trust".

Seriously though, if "Honest" John can be trusted about handing over to Costello during the next term, then shouldn’t we also have a debate between the Minister for Silly Smirks and Julia?  Oh dear, I think I’m about to get voiced over…

Satirist 3:  Actually I’d rather see a head-to-head between Howard or Costello and the challenger from Bennelong, Maxine.

Satirist 4:  Well, Maxine’s probably been dealing with the details of most national issues for longer than Peter and Julia put together.

Satirist 3:  Can we see an unmoderated head-to-head between Maxine and Kevin about which of them should lead the ALP if both win their seats?

Satirist 4:  No, Kevin would never allow it – too much chance of facing substantive questions and being forced to answer them.

Satirist 3:  And there’s no risk of Maxine going bald, so that’s Rudd’s main advantage over Howard gone.

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