Foreign Correspondent, Dateline

It’s easier to cry during that doco on the pets being inbred or Scooby being rescued from the cave  than for the angry faced poor featured on foreign affairs programs. It’s difficult to feel appropriate empathy when they’re eyeing up the TV crew like they want to machete them. It’s not doing their cause any favours.

I remember donating to the tsunami appeal, and then reports got back that Aceh didn’t want our filthy money cause they’re radical Muslims. Bad PR. They need Max Markson.

This week’s Foreign Correspondent filled its usual quota of gruesomeness but Eric Campbell (reporter) seemed very disappointed at being unable to show  workers slaving away in a treeless coltan mine. It seems the problem had been mostly cleared up before Campbell got there, though he managed to find a blackmarket seller. The tone was very heavy-handed. Like this: coltan is used by us selfish Westerners for our hedonistic PlayStations and mobile phones. Sorry – but I didn’t see that on the label when I bought it.

And reporters showing off that they know French cheeses me off – it’s so Jana Wendt. Why? Cause I think there should always be a local interpreter shown onscreen just in case there are local idioms and coloquiallisms. Native tonguesters aren’t going to speak in Language Laboratory French.

I preferred Campbell’s reports, with a touch of wry humour, on The Investigators (1987), with Helen Wellings.

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