I – like many – believe that The Chaser has passed its use by date. Not that the creators aren’t filled with talent and ideas, but the format is starting to feel a little tired and more forced with each episode. With the final airing next week, my guess is that even The Chaser team agree.
What’s even more dull though, is the weekly effort by other media to point out any ‘offensive’ sketch that The Chaser puts to air. The assumption that we can’t make up our own mind about what is in good taste and what we choose to watch on television really gives me the shits. I don’t doubt that a lot of ‘journalists’ tune in eagerly each week, just waiting for an opportunity to grab a quote from the nearest ‘expert’ about how upset they are that The Chaser made little Tommy cry when they cracked a joke about overweight, mentally-challenged kids with red hair.
What is surprising though, is that it was SBS that inspired me to unleash this little rant. Even they can’t seem to help themselves, but to cry foul of yet another Chaser sketch. I have been starting to wonder if SBS’s generally high quality news is starting to slide of late, with more and more current affairs style journalism and human interest stories creeping into their bulletins.
Obviously, The Chaser leave themselves open as targets, because to them, everyone else is free game for lampooning. I’ve little doubt that they don’t need my support to continue on, and in fact probably benefit from the bad press they attract. My concern is that we’re being told that we should be outraged by media organisations (and in turn, politicians eager to be seen as upholding moral standards). That we should hold the same values that they do and be furious at those daring to step outside those boundaries – whether it is satire or not.
The interesting point here is that The Chaser gets attacked from all sides, but for vastly different reasons. Media organisations beneath the News Limited banner will generally accuse programs like The Chaser for wasting honest, hard-working (white) Australia’s tax money on television that attacks honest, hard-working (white) Australia, whilst it seems SBS bends over backwards to be seen as everyone’s left-leaning, politically-correct, best-friend. Meanwhile, The Chaser continues to be a cash cow for the ABC, so apparently most of the population isn’t listening to the bullshit coming from either camp.