Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Chaser - Offensiveness or Satire?

Now that the ABC Chaser team have been sent to the sin bin by ABC management for two weeks after the "Make a Realistic Wish Foundation" sketch, and the offending material has been removed form the ABC web site, thank goodness for You Tube so that we can preserve the material and make our own calls on it. With everyone from Kevin Rudd to Miranda Devine saying this is inappropriate humour, you can make your own calls on it.

The most dubious claims of being offended come from the Seven and Nine networks. The Nine news in Brisbane on Thursday night made this the lead story, ahead of the State of Origin game, the resignation of Defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon and Barack Obama's speech in Eqypt. Given that both Seven and Nine are rumoured to have offered contracts to the Chaser team, and that poking fun of Today Tonight and A Current Affair was a staple of their show last year, do I sense a whiff of vengeance going on here?

More here on comedy and offensiveness. Interesting point made by comedian Dan Ilic about whether people would be as offended if the joke was made by a character, as with shows such as Little Britain. Or, even better, when offensive jokes are made by animated characters, as with South Park.


Mic said...

The most offensive thing about this whole sad saga is the way a sizable chunk of the Australian public have fallen hook line and sinker for this cynical media beat-up. If only more of these people had actually watched the earlier seasons of the Chaser's War or better still, CNNNN, they wouldn't be such media saps and fans of the show wouldn't have to suffer because of their ignorance and ineptitude. Given the nature of the Chaser Team's style and the basic human defence instinct, they will always have their enemies. What gives their enemies and other opportunistic leeches power is the exploitation of ignorance. That is the real moral crime, not this rehashed piece of semi-satirical guff that has got so many people all worked up.

You could say 'what did you expect from a politician', but I did feel pretty disheartened when Kevin Rudd P.M. jumped straight on the bandwagon. He didn't even watch the sketch himself before blurting out his unqualified condemnation. It would have been nice if he could have just asked the gathered media if they had any legitimate questions, but unfortunately we don't live in such a sane world.

In this spineless P.C. age we live in I expected the ABC to react the way they did. It's not hard to lose your job these days if you're not seen to be doing something. However, it is quite nauseating to see intelligent adults having to grovel and apologise for the inability of cretinous ignoramuses, who lack the basic skills of comprehension, to recognise the difference between fiction and reality. You are fighting an uphill battle when people don't even realise they are being manipulated by shock jocks and tabloid media.

I think I might have to tune out for a while so a can get over the frustration of having to share this planet with such individuals. “Two weeks” ought to do it.

Silverwood said...

The criticisms of the Chaser and its ‘Make a Realistic Wish Foundation’ skit have taken a very grey colour.
The critics kept calling the skit a great insult to sick children.
But the Chaser wasn’t making fun of the sick children. Far from it.
Let’s take a look at their first episode back.
They wanted to criticise a rich private school that was asking for donations for it to build a new rowboat house.
The Chaser’s skit was of them going to Somalia – one of the poorest countries in the world – and asking for donations.
The scene was hilarious: ragged, hungry, homeless Somalians giving all the money they had to help the rich private school.
The skit wasn’t directed at the Somalians. We weren’t laughing at them.
We were laughing at the rich snobs at the school. What’s wrong with laughing at rich people?
The exact same intentions were put into their second week.
The skit was not laughing at the sick children. That would’ve been disgusting. Why would anyone want to laugh at innocent victims?
There are cold heartless people in this world who don’t give a damn about sick children. The skit was a ruthless attack against those misanthropic people.
We should be thanking the Chaser for reminding us about the poor innocent, beautiful children in the hospital, slowly dying.
All these children want is one wish before they die.