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Scoop Review: Dissident TV Rebels With A Cause

Scoop Review: Dissident TV Rebels with a cause

By Keir Menzies

Keir is an Auckland-based writer who works in the television industry and writes for a number of underground publications. This is Keir’s first article for Scoop. Feel free to send feedback to either scoop.co.nz or direct to Keir at keirmenzies@slingshot.co.nz

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On Thursday, Dissident TV launched off with a September 11 special on C4. Essentially, the show was a discussion panel featuring Radar, Abigail Voigt and Tim Selwyn. While it shaped up as a half hour of really brainy people cracking politically referenced jokes flying overhead like an AIM-120C-7 air missile, it was carefully packaged into palatable chunks for the topically unenlightened.

Its host, Bomber, has been heard lots on the radio, but only rarely sighted on TV. You get the feeling that’s about to change. His scary tattoos and thuggish appearance contrast charmingly with his soft spoken, well reasoned deportment.

A populist, not a Pilger. A super-sized mini-Moore, Bomber seems prepared to speculate and even occasionally present opinion as fact if it means his points will be more acutely realised. Not that this is a problem. Dissident TV’s agenda is proudly transparent and full of loaded questions which included lead-ins like; “…Saddam gassed 5,000 Kurds off helicopters purchased from America…” Right from the show’s opening disclaimer, you know to switch off if you’re a big fan of Exxon or Texaco

The September the 11th special wasn’t so much about September the 11, as what happened after, particularly regarding the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Naturally, George Bush was the subject of much scorn and blame.

As well as an underlying anger with the injustice of the Bush regime, the ½ hour special was splattered with throw away comments and quips. At one stage Radar compared George Bush to Brian Tamaki, while Tim proclaimed he ‘secretly’ hoped Bush gets re- elected, so the world will be forced to confront this administration.

You couldn’t help but wonder if Bomber was also secretly chanting ‘four more years’. Bush is definitely shaping up as a vast oil well of cannon fodder for the leftist inquisition and the consensus among the panel was that sadly… Bush will be re-elected.

For mainstream newsy shows in New Zealand, discussions between like minded individuals equals boring TV. But Dissident TV dismisses stoked up arguments in favour of common opinion, and looms as a large steel cap wearing foot in the door for Indy media on New Zealand television.

When you think about it, this type of discussion is easily as engaging as two contrasting opinions going head to head. Whether it’s a group of young Nat’s huddled together in the uni-library whispering ‘lesbian conspiracy’ or the liberal intelligentsia talking about America, commonly tinged conversation has an ability to drift into the farthest and most amusing zones of logic. Not possible if the subjects are continually being moderated by an opposing opinion.

Its good to see the dissidents getting together and having a hen peck, but hopefully in the future, we will get a chance to see Bomber up against someone he disagrees with, where he has the opportunity to press their answers and maybe get them in a headlock if they say something stupid.

What: Dissident TV
When: 10pm, Thursday, September 9
Where: C4

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