Titirangi Storyteller

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Posts Tagged ‘network news

Just say NO! to porn

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As naughty as it gets with Google safe-search on

As naughty as it gets with Google safe-search on

No, I’m not talking about naked people getting it on in various configurations, positions and places the rest of us probably couldn’t manage if we tried. That’s old school. It’s pretty easy to avoid traditional porn these days. I plugged the word sex into Google Images and came up with wholesome images of chastely clad people. Pornography didn’t yield anything of interest, either. I had to change my Google preferences to allow explicit images. Even then sex didn’t get me anything a ten year old couldn’t safely look at for the first few pages.

It takes safe-seach off to get this naughty pic

It takes safe-seach off to get this naughty pic

So I plugged in my first name – Veronica. Aha! Apparently girls named Veronica love being naked in front of a camera. I wouldn’t stick 98.5% of the photos there on my blog, but I had to allow explicit images to be shown in order to find one this ‘racy.’ Yes, her name is Veronica. No, I don’t look like that and never have.

The point is, I had to make a choice to look at sexual pornography on the Internet. I’d have to select and pay for a porn magazine; or a pornography channel on cable or Sky; ditto for movie theatres.

The porn I would like to say No! to is the stuff that gets shoved in my face by the media in the guise of news or entertainment.

Network news annoys far more than the rest. I turn on the news to find out what’s going on in the world and in my community. Just a few years ago sensationalist reporting was relegated to syndicated ‘news’ programmes, digging as far into the dirt of sensational stories as they could go. Now the networks are full of crime-porn, disaster-porn, human interest-porn, education-porn, government exposé-porn.

sex-bushfireLast week’s bush fires in Victoria, Australia were a tragedy of horrendous proportions. With 181 dead and thousands left homeless – there was plenty of genuine, heart-breaking news – recovering bodies, housing the dispossessed, getting the fires out only to have arsonists reignite them.

Both New Zealand networks sent their news presenters over to stand in the rubble and moan about the humanity of it all. How did this become a ‘star opportunity’ for them? You could see the disappointment in their faces that the burnt out station wagon didn’t contain the charred remains of a fleeing family. ‘Interviews,’ i.e. cameras shoved in the faces of grief-stricken survivors who’d lost family turned my stomach as their private pain was reduced to ‘human interest’ to pump up ratings. The last straw was 5 minutes of air-time given to a videotape made by parents who thought they were going to die, saying good-bye to their children.

New Orleans Convention Centre

New Orleans Convention Centre

I wish this was an exception, but it has become the norm. Every natural disaster comes with titillating tales. (Remember the dozens of ‘child-rapes’ that were supposedly taking place in the convention centre during Hurricane Katrina – absolutely NONE of which was verified later?) Sensational crimes – it’s a given we will come to know the minute details of the crime and the criminal’s personal life – but the victim, dead or alive is also fair game in the ratings war.

60 Minutes was once THE journalist powerhouse, taking on government, industry and social issues with hard-hitting investigations. Now there’s two-headed babies, interviews with pseudo celebrities and tawdry reports on crimes of passion.

And let us not forget celebrity-porn! Britanny and Paris got so much news coverage last year you would think they had contributed something to humanity.

Then there’s alleged entertainment. I used to love cop shows. Hill Street Blues and Homicide: Life on the Street were two favourites – both realistic in many ways, gritty looks at crime. Child’s play compared to the current crop of CSI and similar shows. I know it’s special effects, but I’d really rather not see a maggot eaten corpse. And the story-lines – life could never imitate this art. Apparently teen sex-clubs are all the rage, young men should be on the lookout for poisoned condoms and half the judges in the US are involved in sad-masochistic sex rings.

Sigh… I’m too young to be too old for contemporary culture. I’ll keep choosing carefully, trying to avoid that lowest common denominator, which keeps sinking to new depths. Of course, I’m not exactly saintly – I hooked you with sex, but I got you to the end playing fair. 😉

Written by Titirangi Storyteller

15/02/2009 at 4:56 pm

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