I’m in love. I’m in love with a strict machine… and ACMA investigation reports

I love reading reports about investigation into complaints.  The ABC lists upheld complaints here.  You can even find stats.

While it’s probably adding to the idea that I should get a life, I couldn’t help but note that the percentage of upheld complaints in 2009 was a massive increase over previous years.

2003: 4.8%

2004: 2.8%

2005: 4.7%

2006: 2.5%

2007: 2.6%

2008: 2.9%

2009: 13.5%

It seems like the last quarter was a bit of a bastard for the ABC.  I initially thought it was because 20.7% of complaints about violence were upheld… but 73.4% of complaints about anti-opposition bias were upheld.  I’m not going to go on a rant about ABC bias because I love the ABC (I look forward to the day that it demonstrates to everybody that commercial news is yet another example of market failure).

But that’s all boring in comparison to the ACMA reports.  This is my favourite so far:

The ABA finds that the program depicted the use of the knife in an unsafe mannerwhich may encourage children to engage in similar unsafe uses of a knife. […]  In forming its view, the ABA notes:

·  Warnings about being careful with a knife and needing adult help in using a knife are commendable but are not necessarily sufficient in themselves to ensure the segment met the requirements of this standard. […]

·  However, the ABA considers that the segment contained examples of the presenter using the knife in an unsafe manner. These depictions include: Brett cutting through the rockmelon with the blade towards him. The blade emerges from the fruit very close to his fingers; when Brett cuts the passionfruit he does sowith a sawing motion across the top of the fruit. Again, his fingers are close to the path of the blade; when he cuts up the banana, Brett wipes the blade with his fingers; when Brett cuts the mango, he is holding it in his hand while the blade isinserted down into the fruit towards his hand. The visual demonstration of the use of the knife in this manner undercuts the impact of the verbal warnings. […]

·  The effect of the warning was also undermined by the use of an audience inclusive song while cutting the fruit;

This is the way we cut the fruit, cut the fruit, cut the fruit
This is the way we cut the fruit
Early in the morning

This song is sung while visuals depict Brett using the knife to cut a kiwifruit.  [source, p. 2-3]

I love the sheer insanity of the complaint.  I love the idea of some extremely over protective parent freaking right the freak out because their kid sees a knife being used on the television.  I feel sorry for the ACMA who has to reasonably and logically consider the complaint (which they’ve done and all credit to them).  Classic.

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