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You sit up here, and you read the bloody autocue!

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Words can’t really describe my contempt for shows like Today Tonight, and you’re either going to agree or disagree with me… they pander, incite misguided anger, give misguided hope, and above all waste 60 minutes of primetime television every night.

I don’t claim to be a journalist (and my minor in journalism hardly qualifies me), but I can’t comprehend how any legitimate journalist could happily work for Today Tonight or A Current Affair.

(And if you haven’t heard it already, here is Naomi’s rant.. language warning)


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Even Media Watch got a run on Today Tonight earlier this month, the above video is Attard’s response during last nights show.

11 replies on “You sit up here, and you read the bloody autocue!”

I could not agree with you more!
These shows do nothing but patronise, incite hatred and scare monger – “look what they’re putting in your food now!” (who “they” are is never explained), “how walking down the street can give you cancer!”, “look what your children get up to when you’re not home!”. It’s the laziest, most simplistic kind of journalism going, and what scares me most is that I’m sure there are plenty of people out there that buy into every word they say. If these people had their way, no one would ever leave their front door because they’d think there was a rapist or a paedophile hiding around every corner. And then, just for good measure, they’ll throw in a story about dogs on skateboards so everyone can go ‘how cute’. Disgusting.

I couldn’t disagree more! These shows have a purpose, and that is to present issues and stories to people who may not be in society’s intelligencer, those who may not read a paper and those who without these two shows would do nothing to become informed or be aware of issues in society. And while they may not be tackling the hardest of content or providing the most depth they do offer some insight, tt is particular, into concepts facing us today such as tt’s report into Muslim youth (Which Media Watch attacked and was subsequently proved wrong by the independent media authority, vindicating TT) or Helen Wellings’ (who worked for the NSW Consumer Affairs Dept.) informed and solid forays into misleading, unsafe or faulty products or even just having live interviews and updates on news issues, eg. Fires, disasters, controversies. Of course they have to throw in the occasional trashy bra or bikini story so they can hook to most simple minded of viewers. And had you watched the story Naomi introduces in your sample, the one about education, you would have seen that whilst using tags to insight controversy into the viewers mind it was actually a very balanced and informative, perhaps simplistic, piece exploring the state of education today, and with a teacher in my family I should know. So frankly love it or hate it, I have contempt for those who do no see the value in these shows, if not for you up on your high horse but those who to you dwell in mediocrity! Disgusting.

Quite the debate, and now my 2c worth. I call these programs “Womans Day for TV”….yes, they’re mostly full of garbage while precious few some reports are OK. But we can’t be blaming the publishers / Producers for the output quality, heres why:
Whenever ACA decide to go “upmarket or serious” the ratings plummet. Whenever Womans Day need to increase sales, they chuck Princess Di on the cover [still!]….now the only reason they resort to these lows is becuase THE GENERAL PUBLIC WANT THIS ! When Di died, I blamed the trash mags etc, but upon realsising WHY they put her on every cover changed my tact [Editors were known to say, we wish we could put her on EVERY cover, as each time we do, sales skyrocket]. So when she died everyone went on how the mags killed her – but really, they should have blamed themselves for buying these mags [I had this convo with people who bought the mag and they thought I was nuts!]

Same trash theory goes for ACA and TT… when they put trash/controversy on, rating go up, when they try to change tact and be serious, ratings plummet. So we can all sit around and call it garbage, useless or minimally insightful, but the fact is, they’re only putting out what the public want [and they’ve had years to tinker around with the format to come come to this conclusion].

So, dont stress over these programs – just dont watch them, watch Neighbours instead [about as much credibility] or watch proper Current Affairs on ABC/SBS. Crisis over!

I don’t want to turn this into a debate on popular journalism, but…
The only only purpose these shows seem to serve is to sensationalise what could (sometimes)be quite legitimate stories. Why should television cater for the lowest common denominator? We’d all be watching topless darts if that was the case. And that’s not being snobby, there should be a place for almost everything on TV (including topless darts – on channel 427), and there’s certainly a place for good investigative journalism, but good investigative journalism these shows are not, which is exactly what they claim to be.
It’s exactly the same argument as I have against the Daily Mail newspaper in the UK as opposed to the Sun – at least the Sun doesn’t claim to be anything it’s not.
Anyway, slight rant over. For now…

is particular, into concepts facing us today such as tt’s report into Muslim youth (Which Media Watch attacked and was subsequently proved wrong by the independent media authority, vindicating TT)

Ha, did you even read the ACMA report mediawatch has on it’s website, it’s a bloody farce. It claims the difference between

We will never integrate


We will never integrate the way other communities integrate purely because of the fact that you have to draw a line with what your idea of integration and what our idea of integration and accepting, you know, accepting the practices of other people.

does not qualify or alter the statement. As if if doesn’t, it’s good to see that ACMA is going to be even more of a toothless tiger than the ABA was.

The only thing I say when I watch them is ” Hmmm… Martin Di Stasio with that report”.
If you didn’t know better you would think ACA and TT think Frontline was an Education video.

And the other night I noted that Noami went with hardly any clothes! What is the world coming too!


Dear Nick Renwick,

May I inquire as to which Seven-affiliated company you work for? Your frankly unfounded belief that Today Tonight and A Current Affair provide some sort of service for anyone at all, no matter how disadvantaged, is, to say the very least, pretty dumb. And don’t you dare call cultured people “disgusting”! I happen to be intelligent and, like most intelligent persons, am a valuable asset to a community that has stooped this low.

What, if anything, have they done for Australia? Today Tonight even stole its name from the ABC! (Today Tonight was the WA, Queensland and SA equivelant of the East Coast’s This Day Tonight programme – it was introduced in 1967.) A Current Affair was once worthwhile but does not even deserve the name it has. These programmes are the Women’s Weekly of television. As pointed out earlier, Neighbours has as much, if not more, credibility as Today Tonight and A Current Affair.

I simply cannot believe that these programmes continue to be labelled as Current Affairs programmes. They have another 50 years of learning to undertake before becoming as respectable as Ten News, let alone The 7.30 Report or Dateline. I find it easier to take the Coodabeen Champions seriously. What hope have these people got of attracting an audience with a total of half a brain?

To recap – what makes you think that such programmes have the slightest grain of credibility? I mean, really, these people took footage from Spain and pretended that it showed that Christopher Skase had set up road blocks to stop the ‘journalists’ on an unrelated island!

I hope you respond promptly, as I must say that I shall look forward to writing even more of these letters.

Yours sincerely,
Jordn Fenton.

I suggest you all watch ‘What have current affairs taught us this week’ in the Chasers War section of this website, not only is it very humorous, it’s so true! They point out all the underhanded tricks used by Current Affairs Programs to make people appear worse than they really are -tricks such as haunting music, slow motion footage – and even digitally warping the ‘dodgy guys’! You’ll be amazed by the ‘subtle visualizations’ they can find in the archives of Current Affairs shows!

It was the whole studying-Frontline-for-HSC-English that really brought Current Affairs shows into light for me, so to say, I’ve been ignorant for a long time. Its only when my mother asks me to tape Today Tonight for her, that I cringe and pull her down to watch The Chaser with me. Sure, today I can laugh and and mock these shows, but I don’t take seriously the repercussions of the popularity of these programs across Australia. Isn’t their popularity indicative of our population’s general thought? Sure there’s Media Watch and a Broadcasting-Board of some sort overwatching, but though entertaining, I suddenly realise these shows are potentially detrimental to our society. Oh woe.

I think that is an over-reaction, tt in particular has lifted its game somewhat, but i still think that these shows, while not always serious or noteworthy do provide some news and public awareness to people who would otherwise have none. And frankly media watch has lost the plot and is now on a steep slide.

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