ABC is filling the trashy reality TV void

 

On Monday night I felt like watching some cheap and trashy reality TV with lots of drunkenness and sex and so naturally I turned on Four Corners.

I know the ABC gets a lot of criticism for misusing taxpayer money but I for one would like to thank the national broadcaster for finally filling the void left by Love Island and Bachelor in Paradise.

In case anyone missed it, the ABC's flagship current affairs program devoted this week's 50 minutes to exposing one government minister for having an extramarital affair and claiming another had a drunken flirt (which he denied). Apparently it had a duty to expose them because they were both opposed to same sex marriage.

Attorney-General Christian Porter has come under fire after the ABC aired allegations of the MP having an affair with a junior parliamentary staffer while he was married. Picture by Sean Davey
Attorney-General Christian Porter has come under fire after the ABC aired allegations of the MP having an affair with a junior parliamentary staffer while he was married. Picture by Sean Davey

For the record, I support same sex marriage and oppose extramarital affairs but hey! Why bother having a debate on such moral issues when you can just creep into an MP's bedroom or dredge up what they did at uni so as to publicly shame them after that debate has already been won?

Apparently the public interest test here is hypocrisy - presenting as one thing while behaving as another - which makes you wonder why a current affairs show that presents as a bastion of respectable in-depth journalism is behaving like an episode of Frontline.

Of course some politicians have affairs and inevitably some of them will be exposed but surely the tabloid media is having a hard enough time as it is without Aunty taking our jobs from us.

Canberra has become the new Bachelor In Paradise thanks to Aunty. Picture: supplied
Canberra has become the new Bachelor In Paradise thanks to Aunty. Picture: supplied

Besides, the conventional threshold is that a politician needs to have broken the law, misused public money or been caught wearing a ball-gag.

Surely everybody knows this right?

Perhaps not. Maybe I am in the last generation of journos who knew the difference between gossip and a yarn or understood that consensual sex was not the same thing as sexual assault. I'm not saying we had high standards, but at least we had some.

Or maybe I'm just imagining it all. Maybe when you get right down to it journos and pollies are really all just pigs, as dodgy and dirty as each other.

In that case at least we can welcome Four Corners to the sty.

Originally published as ABC is filling the trashy reality TV void


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