I watch almost no TV these days. I used to watch the ABC but can’t even be bothered doing that. I used to watch some top golf tournaments on Foxtel but (generally) find that I’d prefer to play my own lousy game than to watch others play it really well. I have been inadvertently trapped into watching segments of Channel Ten’s The Project which screens at 6-30 weeknights because I get home while others in my household are watching it. I use the word ‘trapped’ with care – its got to be the most stupid current affairs show of all times and I watch it with a morbid fascination.
The Project is current affairs repackaged as yuk-yuk humour provided by low-level commentators, stupid word plays and teenage-level sexual innuendo. The presenters try to encourage the humorous atmosphere by grinning constantly and laughing aloud at each other’s dumb jokes and tedious repartee. I wonder who watches this nonsense and what they get from it. So I searched for ratings and, yes, it is doing well circulation-wise alongside the other ‘low brow’ news commentary offerings, A Current Affair and the truly despicable and dishonest Today Tonight. The latter comprise mainly muck-raking, low-level, ‘gotcha’ journalism rather than attempts to repackage the daily news as comedy.
We are expanding the university system and our living standards are among the highest in the world but, in terms of its appetite for news, Australia is becoming a nation of morons. It is common to attack The Australian for its anti-science irrationalism but the electronic media make The Australian seem high brow.