The Chaser‘s Craig Reucassel raises some interesting arguments in an article today about laws that prevent television programmes from using parliamentary broadcasts state for satire or ridicule.
It’s ok to ridicule politicians in other forms, just not via television -unless it falls under News….
“The law does not prevent the news, current affairs programs and breakfast television from playing embarrassing moments in Parliament. We have all seen vision of Kevin Rudd eating his ear wax. We have seen vision of politicians sleeping. And when clips such as these are played on Sunrise, Today or Insiders, it is unlikely that the commentators’ response is one of deferential respect for the dignity of the house,” he writes.
“We were faced with the ridiculous situation during the filming of The Hamster Wheel of having to ask permission from politicians whose words in Parliament we were seeking to satirise. They politely declined. In the age of television, restricting the footage available can be an effective way of controlling a story.
“The law has also not been enforced against the growing number of mash-ups and satirical edits of Parliament that are being posted on YouTube and similar sites. It is unlikely that many of the people making these clips are even aware that such a law exists.
“What the law does prevent is satirical TV programs from critiquing politicians using the actual words they have said in the Parliament. This is a method that has been used to withering effect in the US by Jon Stewart on The Daily Show and Stephen Colbert of The Colbert Report, both of whom received Peabody Awards for their journalism, despite presenting such journalism using satire.”
You can read more at smh.com.au