Saturday, July 28, 2007

Keeping Up The Front

The New Zealand Parliament has just enacted a new law that makes it a crime to use video footage taken within Parliament for the purpose of "satire, ridicule or denigration."
Under the promise of imprisonment- such acts are now outlawed.
Deputy Prime Minister Michael Cullen accused the media of trying to portray the restrictions as "some sort of fascist state where the heroic media of New Zealand are being denied the right to lampoon politicians."
But what other road are they on?
In order to portray themselves in the best light possible, they are sacrificing free speech for image. Only 6 members of the 121-seat parliament voted against the measure.
In March 2005, speaker Margaret Wilson banned cameras from TV3 for seven days after the network showed associate education minister David Benson-Pope asleep during a parliamentary session.
The people that make up government are not gods- they have been entrusted with immense power, the power to enact laws that effect everyone in society. The very fact that they have power means there should to be more oversight, not less.
The New Zealand Parliament have become completely identified with their image- how they are perceived by the people. But this careful crafting of media portrayal will be based on falsities, not actual events or real displays of emotion.
They are trying to hide behind the guise of professionalism, stature, and civility- but what is it they are working for? Why are they there?
They have forgotten their original pure motivations... if they ever existed.

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