What an appalling journalistic decision to award Stuff’s Middle Class Docudrama ‘Fire and Fury‘ with best Documentary at the Voyager Media Awards this year.
Fire and Fury had genuine journalistic issues that they utterly avoided because of tribal justifications that glossed over major criticisms of their coverage.
Fire and Fury told the middle class narrative that their middle class readers wanted (and pay for).
It’s similar to the appalling Mister Organ where David Farrier unleashed all the journalistic integrity of your average feeding frenzy school of piranha, yet was lauded by the Twitter precious.
David doorstops family members of Organ for Christ’s sakes! He turns up at their door at night with cameras and tape running without their permission!
The only time you doorstop someone as a journalist is to catch a politician who has been involved in a scandal and is refusing interviews, a priest accused of child abuse who is refusing interviews and corrupt police who are refusing interviews, you don’t doorstop people for your personal documentary where you are attempting to slag their family member!
How is that level of gutter journalism acceptable for a documentary that ultimately is little more than a $750 000 state funded vendetta?
Likewise this awful Fire and Fury docudrama!
Both have generated thoughtful and intelligent critiques of our system and provided light rather than generate heat.
We need more broadcasters like them!
The appalling decision by the Media Council to whitewash Stuffs Fire and Fury docudrama last year is a disgraceful abuse of process and a slap in the face of actual journalism.
I agree with the Media Council that the makers of Stuff’s middle class docudrama ‘Fire + Fury’, didn’t have an obligation to interview the various fear grifters and bad faith extremists to give ‘balance’, but where the Media Council are totally wrong is in terms of the blinkered coverage of the protest itself by the docudrama!
Were there bad faith actors manipulating people’s fears and anger?
Of course there were!
But where is the focus on Mallard’s behaviour that whipped this up to the violence it eventually erupted into?
We escalated this because we got scared, journalists like the ones that made Stuff’s docudrama were personally frightened. The focus is only on those voices on the right who whipped this up but NOT on Trevor Mallard who escalated it!
THAT’S WHERE THE LACK OF BALANCE IS!
Of course Fire + Fury shouldn’t platform these lunatics, but you can’t focus only on their contribution while ignoring the ferociously stupid blunders of Mallard!!!!
On the Thursday after the Wednesday attempt to push into Parliament, the movement had fractured and collapsed because of massive infighting between the leaders. AT THE VERY MOMENT THE PROTEST WAS FADING Mallard threw a temper tantrum and ordered the cops in while inadvertently streaming a live 10 hour recruitment video to the entire fucking country!
When that blows up and brings every angry lonely frustrated person with pain to Parliament, Mallard then turns on the sprinklers and plays loud music!
We wound those people up for 3 weeks and then screamed ‘Nazi’ when they finally react?
This is why Fire + Fury should have been sanctioned by the Media Council, not because they didn’t interview these fringe fear grifters, but because they refused to balance the docudrama with any focus of accountability on Mallard’s response and tactical failures!
What has been the impact of Fire + Fury?
On one hand it has exposed the attempts by Qanon antivax lunatics to infiltrate our local democracy (which saw barely a dozen of them elected so it’s questionable how much of an actual threat they posed in the first place) but on the other hand it led to knee jerk reactions like the arrest of the CounterSpin Due who are now turning their prosecution into a show trial that will dangerously recruit more people!
Fire + Fury is guilty of imbalance, not because they refused to platform these fear grifters and crypto-fascists, but because they utterly refused to look at the contributing factors that led to the violence at the Dumb Lives Matter Parliament Lawn protests.
Fire + Fury lets our side off the hook for radicalising this to where we are now and if we are blinding ourselves to how we contributed to theism then any draconian crackdown is acceptable because they are 100% to blame.
If middle class virtue signalling is journalism now, we are in real trouble.
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