Bitchin' Channels

A blog about television and radio with Paul Casserly

Paul Casserly: Smile, you're on candid camera

It was a big week for hidden camera shows like Target, says television blogger Paul Casserly.

Carly Flynn from Target.  Photo / Supplied
Carly Flynn from Target. Photo / Supplied

It was a big week for hidden camera shows. Not only was it the central theme of the reruns of The Sopranos and The Wire, it was also somewhat of a media sensation thanks to a carpet cleaner on Target.

Much has already been said about this poor sap who ransacked his own dignity repeatedly in prime time.

I'll only add that I was amused at the language used by Target to justify the milking of what was truly sensational material.

I had to laugh when host Carly Flynn said the man had "stolen" some internet before he had "violated the home of the actress".

Presumably if you hire your house out to a show that regularly shows tradesmen snooping around houses and sniffing panties, it should be called "consensual violation".

On Monday, Native Affairs (Maori Television, 8.30pm) was dealing with the fallout from another hidden camera experiment, as it shed some much needed light on the Urawera Four and their antics in the Tuhoe bush.

A full hour of the show was a good place to deal with all of this and host Julian Wilcox was having a blinder as he grilled all the major players.

Here's a summary (I'm paraphrasing somewhat).

Julian: "Tame, what the hell were you up to doing running around with guns?"
Tame: "We were out there doing what Tuhoe has been doing for years. We like to run around with guns."
Julian: "Given the array of firearms, the semi-automatics and so on, what do you say to people who thought WTF?"
Tame: "We were just running around with guns. We like running around with guns, there was no plan B."

The other members of the four suggested that the charges were absurd and that's why they didn't take the stand. The true terrorists were the cops who had terrified kiddies during numerous armed raids.

The cops were represented by Police Association attack dog Greg O'Conner. Asked if the cops should apologise to the Tuhoe people, Greg suggested that the Urewera Four were the ones who should be saying sorry.

He also hinted that if all the evidence came out then people would agree with him.

Greg clearly agreed with himself. When Julian pointed out that the cops also have to work within the law, Greg ignored the question and offered that "something had been stopped up in the valley and there had been no repeat".

By which he meant that Tame and his mates were no longer running around with guns.

Julian was clearly exasperated as Greg bulldozed his way through the encounter but he held his own, and managed to leave the fracas on good terms.

Then came a panel of opinions.

Ex Act MP Stephen Frank thought the four were probably planning to kill the Prime Minister and a farmer and a Pakeha, or at least were fantasising about it.

He also told how he had known Tame previously and he'd been nice, but the last time he'd seen him in, the TVNZ greenroom, Tame had gone "all swaggering and sinister".

On that occasion he had warned Stephen that "he was going to make me pay". This made everyone else laugh.

Julian: "Sorry, Stephen, I don't mean to laugh at you."

Matt McCarten was on hand with a more balanced view. He reckoned that the Police and government at the time suffered from "group-think". They got excited and overreacted to Tame and his mates running around the bush with guns.

He reckons the cops spend too much time in the United States training with the yanks which was also the reason behind the overblown Kim Dotcom operation.

Russell Brown basically said the Urawera Four were idiots but not terrorists, and cited the hysterical Dominion Post story about Napalm as a media low point.

Lawyer Annette Sykes tore strips off everyone present. She'd read all the evidence, some "400,000 pieces" and wasn't impressed with all the media coverage including Maori Television.

You can watch the programme here.

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_a5 at 30 Jul 2014 07:07:54 Processing Time: 466ms