Tuesday, July 31, 2007

New Zealand's missing sense of humor

It seems incredible, but New Zealand has actually voted to ban media outlets from using images of Parliament for satirical purposes. What's more, the vote was not even close (it was 111 to 6). Most New Zealanders apparently think this is a bad idea, and most journalists as well. It never bodes well when a government tries to take control over its public image to this extent; controlling satire is just a step towards controlling media coverage in general.

However despite the headlines screaming "Parliament bans satire!" it should be noted that the MPs here are talking about images being taken out of context, a favorite tactic of today's media in search of a better/more interesting reality. This isn't a ban on written expression (yet). However, it's a bad precedent, and one destined to be ineffectual to boot. One wonders just how many photoshopped images of New Zealand MPs will pop up on the internet in the coming weeks; they're just asking for it.

(Thanks to our comrades at Brainsnap for the tip.)

Labels: , , ,

Bookmark and Share

Satire pervades the web, seeping into mailboxes and mainstream news like a spilled cup of coffee. It stains and it won't go away.

The Bitter Cup is a collaborative blog for members of HumorFeed, a collaborative of satire and humor sites that has been making trouble since 2003.