Finally, a shit show that wasn’t Morrison’s fault. He’s proven himself incapable of holding a hose, ordering vaccines, or cock-blocking Xi Jinping from busting a move on the South Pacific, but I think to be fair we’d have to lay blame for last night’s raging goat rodeo on someone other than the two stunned ungulates caught in the middle of it all.
You’d probs find responsibility lurking somewhere between Nine’s Director of News and Current Affairs, Darren Wick, and the four Ninefax ‘hosts’ who were supposed to be running the show. News boss Wick, who last came to public attention outside Hornsby Local Court as the defendant in a January 2021 drunk driving case, said at the time that he had been working hard on his issues with alcohol…
Best of luck to him and I don’t doubt he’s working hard on it, because he obviously didn’t have time to put much thought into this theatrical poopfest. Or maybe he did. The incentive structure for commercial TV networks doesn’t necessarily preference enlightened discourse. Struggling, ad-based legacy media like Nine get more return on their investment when the content goes viral, and as enlightening as two bovine plodders chewing the cud on policy might be to those of us who are, lets face it, a little over-invested in politics, it doesn’t make for sellable blipverts on the old Insta channel the morning after.
On the other hand, let’s not give Chris Uhlmann a freebie. Uhlmann is Nine’s political editor, placing him much higher up the food chain than the debate’s ‘moderator’ Sarah Abo, a mere 60 Minutes reporter. Abo gets the scare quotes around ‘moderator’ the same way Jerry Springer would once have earned scare quotes around ‘talk show host’ because Springer wasn’t really there to moderate a civil exchange between the toothless methdawgs and slack-jawed yokels who made up the motley crew of his immoderate entertainments. Just like Abo wasn’t there to supervise a forensic audit of rival policy offerings.
I would watch the shit out of a six-part Netflix documentary which performed a deep dive into the preparations for this debate. Not Albo and Scotty’s prep - that would have been a bit dull, the pair of them rote memorising the cost of bread, milk and intermediate range cruise missiles capable of reaching China’s minty fresh airbases on the Solomons. No, I’d pay to watch the machinations at Nine as they tried to put together a show which served one purpose above all others - to rate higher than any other network’s efforts.
I’ve got a lazy ten bucks says Sarah Abo had nothing to do with settling the format - wherein ‘format’ means one crowded hour of frantic shrieking by our two tethered goats as Uhlmann and crew threw tin cans at them and shouted, “Eat this, goats, hahahahaha!”
Speaking after the debacle, Uhlmann seemed to think it was way cool because ‘the fact the leaders were so fiery in their clashes showed they were engaged.’
Perhaps next time we should just get them to strip down to their Y-fronts and engage in a bit of willing banter with crutching knives and fire sticks. It would certainly one-up Jerry Springer.
But as has been pointed out on the Twitz:
And while Springer undoubtedly accelerated our media culture towards… well, whatever this is now… he finished every show with a small, almost beautifully constructed sermon on human frailty and the need to be kind to each other.
None of that rubbish from Nine.
“A public affairs atrocity,” Katherine Murphy called it.
There were other moments when it seemed just possible that a practised smirk Morrison adopts in these formats to mask his existential psychic distress could escalate into hysterical laughter at the abject futility of his Sunday evening.For his part, Anthony Albanese tried to get a grip on something. Anything really. A glass of water. His opponent. Clarity. Sense. Punctuation. A rescue helicopter.
There were other moments when it seemed just possible that a practised smirk Morrison adopts in these formats to mask his existential psychic distress could escalate into hysterical laughter at the abject futility of his Sunday evening.
For his part, Anthony Albanese tried to get a grip on something. Anything really. A glass of water. His opponent. Clarity. Sense. Punctuation. A rescue helicopter.
I don’t think anyone would object if we decided, collectively, there was nothing to be had from another one of these atrocities.
Perhaps all registered voters could simply be made to read the parties’ various platforms, on pain of some large fine or humiliating punishment if they skipped the homework. There could be, like, an hour set aside for it, and then we all vote.
It couldn’t be any worse than last night.
This is a very long six weeks. Come, walk with me..
Yeah nah. I didn't watch it. To be honest, I have avoided as much coverage of the campaign as I can. Haven't watched any TV news for weeks. Only read the occasional piece online. I don't need convincing that Scotty Too Hotty (for the old WWE fans out there) needs to go. Nigh on 10 years of lunatics running the asylum is more than enough. If people haven't made their minds up by now, they possibly don't have one.
Can't stomach commercial TV and have gone off the insiders because of the interjectionist. I saw the aftermath this morning on the ABC though, that was unedifying enough for me. Not sure these"debates" serve any useful purpose, just a pale copy of US bullshit.
I gave it a miss, & watched something about ancient Mayans on SBS instead. Less human sacrifice & better urban planning policy than Smirko.
I watched every minute of this rubbish mainly because I couldn't believe how bad it was - setup, staging, inane questions, know nothing so called reporter/"moderator" Sarah Abo (never heard of her) and radio host Deb O'Neill (never heard of her), with lashings of incompetence, sloppiness and dopiness to the fore. The latter really took the cake when she asked the pugilists to define what a woman is. I mean!!! That was (almost) the stupidest, lowest moment of the sad mess. Surely David Crowe must be cringing in embarrassment today, though nothing could have saved this. Even though I have the lowest expectations of D Wick and 60 Minutes, this descended several kilometres lower. My especial scorn however is for C Uhlmann. In my opinion, a self important overblown excuse for a "political editor", he is so anti china that he is a danger to himself and to proper research and scholarship. And to top it all off, the technology was hopeless, and several times the hapless Abo announced results that were 100% opposite to the numbers that appeared on the screen. A total debacle.
I saw Ulmann's name on the prom and gave it a miss. Why both parties agree to such old media's last gasp clickbait thuggery I don't know. Thanks for the confirmation John ;-)
I looked down the list of commenters here, and noted that some of them are nominally sane human beings that I know and respect. And... they watched this thing?
I didn't. You'd have to pay me -- quite a lot, thanks! -- to subject myself to that kind of abuse. And frankly, after the last seven years even if Albanese manifested horns and a tail right there on-screen, I'd still be putting the LNP below the ALP on my vote. I mean -- at least there's a chance that Lucifer might be halfway competent, right?
But that does lead me to ask why various folks watched this. Birmo gets a pass: he's paid to be a political tragic, and paid to write scurrilously amusing screeds in response. I wince in sympathy for him, but I expect the next gold-plated hovercraft will cheer him up.
The rest of you... what, exactly, were you hoping to see?
Thanks for taking one for the team, JB. Be interesting to see how many did watch it. No surprise that the online voting was biased in Morrison's favour but even then he didn't win (despite Spreadsheet's comment on ABC Breakfast this morning implying that he did.) I like AusMossy's comment about people not having made up their minds brings into question whether they actually have one. Which brings to the question of braindead journalists like Ms Bechwati & Mr Kearsley and their inane questions. What will it take to stop the haranguing, bullying, braindead questions, harassing, fluffy airhead commentary from the likes of Norman, Jennet & Probyn? What will put a cracker up their respective arses and remind them that they belong to the Fourth Estate. Their job is to speak truth to power. When will they have the guts to remember they belong to a Union, and go on strike against the bosses that force them to lie?
Juda Bacon - thanking you, JB for taking one for the team - totally endorse that - and many of the responses below. There were four people including my wife and me in the cinema for Leah Purcell's "The Drover's Wife" - finishing at 8.30 last night. It was a Sunday night! I would hate to think the place was so quiet because people had stayed in to watch the subject of this post - what has obviously only loosely been called a debate!
I can't / wont watch them. Thanks for distilling it into its true farce for me.
Thinking about going into hybernation for the next 12 days.....
guess the best thing I can do in response is go to a pre-polling centre after work today and put the LNP below ALP on my completed ballot.
I read Freezing Order instead. Winning choice.
Glad I missed it.
The election campaign's been going since June 2019. I want it to end.
I ended up watching Moonknight instead as it was closer to reality than the 💩show with shouty “journalists”