Here's an exclusive transcript extract from the pilot Jim and Carly Show, coming soon to TV3..
CARLY: DO YOU LIKE MY HAIR? OH, WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE CITY? JIM: NEW YORK. I'VE BEEN THERE. CARLY: WELL, THERE'S A LOT HAPPENING THERE -IN NEW YORK. ITS A BIG CITY WITH A LOT HAPPENING. JIM: WELL, YOU KNOW, I LIKE TO ABSORB THINGS.. CARLY: YOU LIKE TO LEARN WHILE YOUR WHERE YOU ARE..IN NEW YORK. JIM THAT'S RIGHT. LEARN. CARLY: LEARNING'S A GOOD THING. IT'S IMPORTANT TO LEARN. JIM: YES, IT IS CARLY. CARLY: LEARNING. (makes bedroom eyes at the camera) JIM: BUT WHAT ABOUT IRAQ? CARLY: I DON'T THINK THAT WOULD BE A NICE PLACE TO VISIT, REALLY. DO THEY HAVE ANY GOOD HAIRDRESSERS? OR FASHION STORES? ANY WOMEN'S MAGAZINES THAT'LL PUT ME ON THE COVER? JIM: THAT'S INTERESTING. CARLY: WHAT IS? JIM: WHAT YOU SAID. CARLY: OKAY. JIM: OKAY. CARLY: ITS RELEVANT INFORMATION THAT YOU CAN USE. JIM: WE'RE THAT KIND OF SHOW. CARLY: I'M KELLY RIPA! JIM: AND I'M PAUL HENRY - I'VE BEEN RIPPING OFF HIS STYLE FOR MONTHS. CARLY: AND HIS POLITICS! JIM: NAH, I WAS ALWAYS A RIGHT WING PRICK. (laughs)
That's the astounding message being pushed in the Government's new television commercial. It's part of a $14 million campaign against domestic violence.
The arty-farty-shot commercial features a set of liberal types (no surprises that the ubiquitous Labour supporter Russell Brown makes an appearance ) informing us all that domestic violence is 'not okay'.
Really? I never would of guessed.
It's an irritating commercial because it plucks domestic violence out of the social and economic environment in which it exists, and suggests that domestic violence is largely the behaviour of dysfunctional individuals.
What about the impact of economic policies that have lowered wages in this country, increasing the economic pressure on individuals and families? What about the devastation that over a decade of free market policies has wreaked on working class communities?
Surely this kind of massive economic stress has been a catalyst for domestic violence?
But the government is hardly going to fund a television commercial that suggests that its economic policies have also contributed to domestic violence.
As an aside, none of the individuals who appear in this commercial are struggling economically. They've all done well under this Labour Government - some of them are certainly in the top tax bracket.
TVNZ has recorded an after tax loss of $4.5 million for the past financial year - it is yet another indictment of Labour's disastrous broadcasting policy.
Labour has attempted to lay down public broadcasting principles on the state broadcaster that is also expected to meet commercial objectives.
It is a hybrid that has failed to work on both scores: it is broadcaster awash with reality shows, American crime shows and a third rate news service and which is now losing advertising revenue (a 6.5 percent drop), as more and more viewers turn off.
Furthermore Labour has now made TVNZ vulnerable to privatisation from an incoming National Government, something that former news and current affairs chief Bill Ralston is concerned about.
'National are playing their cards close to their chest at the moment, but they might be looking at selling off TV2,' he told me.
Ralston also said that it has always been financially feasible to turn TV1 into fully-funded public service channel but that Labour has refused to even consider the idea largely out of 'ideological obstinency.'
With the New Zealand media largely controlled by a handful of overseas corporates, there has never been a more urgent need for a strong public broadcasting system to counter the dominance of corporate ideology and culture.
However this Labour Government has allowed free market ideology to get its tentacles around public broadcasting. The danger is that public broadcasting will be strangled to death.
The message will be, already coming from the likes of the National Business Review, is that the corporate-owned media will give us what we want - and what we want, of course, is what they give us.
You may have read the story in the newspaper or on a news website - but not on television because neither TVNZ or TV3 bothered to report it.
It's the case of the United States B 52 bomber that was 'mistakenly' armed with six nuclear missiles and flew for more than three hours across several American states.
The plane carried Advanced Cruise Missiles from the Minot airforce base in North Dakota in the upper Midwest to the Barksdale base in the southern state of Louisiana on 30 August.
However the US Air Force has not permitted its bombers to overfly U.S. territory since the late 1960s when a series of nuclear weapons accidents involving the U.S. Air Force in the United States and abroad created embarrassing scandals.
Except for all out nuclear war, nuclear weapons are supposed to be transported as cargo in specialized secure aircraft or trucks, not on operational aircraft.
The scenario is this: having been removed from their safe storage bunkers in North Dakota, those six nuclear weapons were loaded onto a B 52 bomber, flown hanging from the wing pylons of the bomber over at least six or seven of the United States for three and a half hours, and then parked on a runway ramp for another 10 hours, while no one in while no one in the White House, the Pentagon, or in the Air Force's top leadership apparently knew anything about it.
The Air Force has relieved the squadron commander in charge of Minot’s munitions crews of all duties pending the investigation, and called for a stand down to review safety and security procedures on September 17. Why the stand down was not ordered immediately after the August 30 incident has not been explained.
Although I'm wary of conspiracy theories, there are a lot of unanswered questions about this incident.
Nuclear warheads and conventional warheads are not kept in the same storage facilities, so there could of been no confusion as to what was being loaded on to the B 52.
This story also only appears to have come to light because someone within the US Defence Department tipped the media off.
It's only since the story hit the media has the military acted and the Minot squadron commander appears to have been made the scapegoat.
Nuclear security standards and procedures are extremely stringent. An individual, even a squadron commander, just can't unilaterally sign out a nuclear warhead at the weapon storage area - high level authorization is required for any nuclear warhead movement and pre planning for the movement is necessary.
Or are we expected to believe there was a complete breakdown in the chain of command?
The story becomes even more sinister when we add in the factor that Barksdale Air Force Base is a staging post for deployment to the Middle East - where last week the Iranian Government put its military on a war footing, fearing an impending attack by the United States.
In George Orwell's celebrated novel 1984 the news is whatever the authoritarian rulers decide is the news. It's an obvious, jackbooted form of censorship, enforced by the power of the state.
We might be inclined, in the brand new millennium, to view Orwell's vision of the future - influenced as it was by the rise of Stalinism - as patently incorrect. But we shouldn't draw too much comfort form this because in 2007 censorship is alive and well. It's just more subtle.
A new invisible censorship has gradually developed and its most evident on our television screens.
The more you watch TV, the less you know.
TVNZ and TV3 have little current affairs and what there is often sensationalist.
In his book On Television Journalism, French professor Pierre Bourdeiu (who died in 2002), explains that a new invisible censorship has emerged which he defines as a 'vicious information circle' of 'repetitive, trivial and establishment-approved information which shunts aside 'all relevant ideas that all citizens ought to have in order to exercise their democratic rights'. News has become surreal, absurd even, 'with an earthquake in Turkey turning up against proposed budget cuts, and sport alongside a murder trail..events are reduced to the level of the absurd, cut off from their precedents and consequences.'
What is also evident is that 'the news' is dominated by the same old faces saying the same old things. Bourdeiu comments that conformity is guaranteed by journalists feeding off each other so that in the end 'everyone thinks in cliches, in the received ideas of the banal and the conventional.'
Not that many journalists will admit to such a cosy relationship with the status quo. Instead they retreat into what Bourdieu calls 'narcissistic complacency' and are all inclined to pseudo criticism while protesting that they are merely giving people what they want. Indeed in recent years TVNZ executives have regularly described the demands for more current affairs as 'elitist'. This highly paid TVNZ elite are simply promoting their own brand of populism which rejects anything that is remotely thought-provoking.
The reality is that the New Zealand media has acted as - and remains - a cheerleader for free market politics and ideology.
The noted journalist John Pilger once recounted the story of American reporter Edwin P. Bayly who wrote in his memoirs that he and the majority of his colleagues became the tools of McCarthyism by 'going along with propaganda and seldom challenging its assumptions or identifying the power that lay behind it - while all the time thinking they were 'independent' and 'objective'.
Modern McCarthyism isn't based on the authoritarian and paranoid state but originates from business propaganda. Since 1984 its targets have been the achievements and values of the social democratic consensus established by the first Labour government in 1935. It has attacked the concept of the common good behind rhetoric about 'individual responsibility' and 'personal choice'.
The real issues that affect our society are not being examined or being discussed in any meaningful on relevant form on TV, the most powerful of all media.
ADDITIONAL COMMENT: More jingoistic nonsense from TV3 News - it is now referring to the All Blacks as 'our boys in black'. Is it little wonder that more and more people are no longer watching the six o'clock news (on both TVNZ and TV3) when they are served up with this sort of peurile rubbish?
My three readers will recall that I have written before about Yahoo's unhealthy beahviour in China, namely handing over the IP and e-mail addresses of Chinese political activists to the Chinese Stalinist regime - these dissidents have since been jailed.
On August 27 Human rights group the World Organization for Human Rights USA has filed a lawsuit in the US against Yahoo for its role in the conviction and imprisonment of Chinese 'cyber-dissidents'.
The case was filed in a San Francisco Federal court under the Alien Tort Claims Act and the Torture Victim Protection Act.
Yahoo is accused of failing in its 'ethical responsibilities' by not asking the Chinese government why it was asking for the information.
"While it is clear that American corporations are obliged to follow foreign laws, they must also abide by US and international law," said Morton Sklar, executive director of The World Organisation for Human Rights USA.
Yahoo though claims it was just following orders or in its words - " it has no control over the sovereign government of the People's Republic of China, the laws it passes and the manner in which it enforces its laws".
Yahoo's stance is both politically and morally repugnant.
The real reason that it has been acting as de facto spy for the Chinese regime is that it does not want to get offside with the regime and risk getting shut out of the lucrative Chinese market.