Saturday, June 06, 2009

The Chaser Is Not "The Media", You Morons

By Darryl Mason

Australia's most boring columnist, Gerard Henderson, has long thought satirical ABC show The Chaser is not comedy television but "The Media".

Incredibly, the editor of The Australian now also thinks The Chaser is "the media". No, really. He does. The editor of The Australian newspaper can't tell the difference between A Current Affair and a comedy show full of made-up nonsense and occasionally cutting social and political satire. He thinks The Chaser, like 2GB or the Sydney Morning Herald or The Australian is part of "The Media"and so therefore must be hammered by the ABC's Media Watch :
For weeks, Media Watch, the in-house organ of the ABC's opinion makers, has bagged management over a broadcast computer system that is slow to settle in. But now presenter Jonathan Holmes and his team have a superior scandal they can chase hard next Monday night - The Chaser's dour and disgraceful sketch that mocked the wishes of dying children and the people who love them.
Then again, maybe it's easy for the editor of The Australian to confuse The Chaser with real "media". After all, The Chaser has covered the Iraq War, and the 'War on Terror', over the years, with a savage honesty that The Australian shied completely away from.

Plus, The Chaser did once have a newspaper.

And so The Chaser caved in, or were likely forced to, and just like The Glass House and The Gruen Transfer before it, the show will now fall under a new regime of increased censorship because people were upset by their reaction to a show that implicitly aims to provoke a reaction in a television era filled with the drab, the unchallenging, the politically correct, the grindingly bland.

The Chaser are clearly not happy about what's happened :

We want to make an apology for a sketch we created called “The Make a Realistic Wish Foundation”.

We’ve just heard from the ABC that they’re suspending the show for 2 weeks. We were keen to keep making the show, so we’re disappointed by the decision, and we don’t agree with it.

But that aside, we’d like to apologise. The piece was a very black sketch. Obviously too black. And we’re really sorry for the significant pain and anger we have caused.

Many people have asked how could we possibly think a sketch like that should go to air. We realize in hindsight that we shouldn’t have done it. We never imagined that the sketch would be taken literally.

We don’t think sick kids are greedy and we don’t think the Make a Wish Foundation deserves anything other than praise. It was meant to be so over-the-top that no one would ever take it seriously.

But we now understand the sketch didn’t come across as intended, and we take full responsibility for that. Now we’ve seen the impact of the piece we wish we’d thought it through better. There was no value in it that justifies the impact it’s clearly had on people whose grief or trauma is so great already. We should have considered that. We got it wrong. We’re sorry.

We'll be making no further comment at this time.

What else is there to say?

The Chaser's audience wanted 'The Boys' to keep pushing the limits of what they may or may not find funny, just how far 'The Boys' would be willing to go, for a laugh or a reaction, or something beyond the reaction most watch television with, a nonchalant 'Eh.'

Now The Chaser has most definitely found out what that limit is.

Dying Children.

Well, at least actors playing dying children.

Not so long ago, Australians could tell the difference.

ABC News : Australians Divided Over Censorship Of The Chaser