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One Born Every Minute: The invasiveness of reality TV (Season 1, Episode 4)

A close friend of mine has been studying Midwifery for the past few years, I never quite understood what ‘Midwifery’ was. When I enquired, I was told to simply watch ‘One Born Every Minute‘, a show that would not typically be on my download agenda.  Firstly, because I am not accustomed to reality TV. Secondly, I do not think it is necessary to watch people during the most private time in their life, and I do not need to see a midwife up to her elbows in placenta. Yuck.

None-the-less, this was listed as an option for assessment three. So intrigue got the better of me.

One Born Every Minute looks as the ‘reality’ of giving birth through the eyes of the Midwife. As a woman, the concept of giving birth is particularly harrowing. And, unfortunately I have been misled in terms of expectations as Hollywood has managed to glamourise the whole experience, just as they have the ‘first time’.  The series crosses the border from ‘onlookers’ in reality TV to ‘experiencers’ of the drama at present, allowing viewers a taste of the reality of giving birth (A. Hill, 2005, Reality TV).

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The home movie style videography almost gives me the idea that some trigger happy family have handed in their home made documentary. Despite the poor quality at stages, it is clear that something personal is being shared. So I watch, almost out of respect. “We have become fixated with the most authentic forms of reality, even the most invasive situations”. (Ouelette & Murray, 2004 ‘Introduction to Reality TV: Remaking Television Culture).

The fly on the wall narrative is presented through a combination of voice overs, interviews and the recounting of the information from the midwife, the family, or the women giving birth.  In this episode, there are two different couples, one couple elated with the success of their 5th round of IVF, the other routinely giving birth to their umpteenth child.

The story is back and forth, following each couple as they arrive at the hospital, to the final birth and the musings of the event afterwards, all with the midwife overseeing the whole operation.

Terrifyingly for me, the camera does not shy away at any stage, the most gruesome aspects of the “magic” that is birth. CCTV footage; close ups, awkward spats between couples, stretch marks, talk of dilating… It is all disgusting. At this stage, I am tempted to pick up the phone to discuss my friends career aspirations.

Voice overs and strategically placed music segments also add to the emotion at each milestone occasion, this keeps me connected.

Birth is gruesome – there is no other way to describe it. I hear women screaming in pain, real blood, real tears, men reeling with both horror and elation. All of this is captured from the view of 40 cameras placed in a bustling maternity hospital, from the front reception to the operating theater’s, everything is seen. How these women agree to broadcast this footage, I really don’t know. They look terrible, sweaty, bad hair, bad teeth, no makeup, talk of their lady parts.. It’s all just horrible.

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The first couple attempt to induce labour, we see the Asian woman’s belly swollen with liquid and torn with stretch marks, this is very confronting, almost alien-like. I immediately decide to never have kids. The couple are clearly annoyed with one another, the husband obediently submits to the demands of his agitated wife. The couple are exhausted, settling in for the night, the husband awkwardly sleeps on an uncomfortable creaking chair (Kerrie Murphy, 2006, TV Land: Australia’s obsession with Reality TV).

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Then the second couple are introduced, it is clear they have lots of kids, there is talk of a vasectomy in the very first scene with them – who talks so openly about cutting into hubby’s penis?

Both women wait for their water to break.  Three quarters in on the OBEM timeline and the first breaks, then the second. The first couple opts for an epidural after four long days of waiting to ‘dilate’.

I get a full front shot of the needle going in, not just a quick shot, I see it slowly inserting. Yet another thing I could have happily gone my whole life without seeing. 

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The other woman seems to be quite intent on taking in as much gas as possible, the new midwife Lorraine attempts to coerce the woman to go on her side, as the back is bad for the baby.  I see a close up of the clock and the IV drip, I become immediately nervous for the health of this lazy woman’s child.

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FINALLY the water breaks, and out comes baby, blood, umbilical chord and all. I am out of my misery. The senior nurse checks in with Lorraine to see how her first day went “It was a baptism by fire”.

The first couple out of desperation decide to go with a cesarean to remove the baby.  The final scenes are of elation with both women holding their babies. Lorraine comments “to share this moment is the most amazing thing”. I can now see why my friend is interested in midwifery, yet it still baffles me.  

Closing Credits roll. Voice over: “if you cant wait until next week, follow online for a wealth of birthing videos” – disgusting.

Mad Men: Then and Now (Season 1, Episode 13) – The Wheel

Mad Men allows us to delve into the designs of the retro world of Advertising that existed in the 60’s, typically known as the ‘men’s domain’.  The episode ‘The Wheel’ looks at ‘then’ and ‘now’, not only in within the context of marketing and the workplace, but within the realm of life (Jason Mittel, ‘On Disliking Mad Men’).

The long awaited AMC serial drama is set in New York at the height of the 1960’s.  Mad Men used the lives of these 60’s characters to explore key concepts such as gender, race, consumerism as they are explored through the lives of these characters (Deborah L Jaramillo, AMC Stumbling towards a New Canon, 2012).

Sounds are metallic and sharp – this gives the viewer a concept of time, space and reality.  There is little, if any background music to formulate scenes. This emulates the 1960’s style film such as ‘Valley of the Dolls‘ or ‘The Apartment‘ (Jeremy G. Butler, ‘Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: Historicizing Visual Style in Mad Men).

Without knowing great detail about each individual character, the episode allows us to successfully build narrative around the main characters, in particular looking at the ‘Then’ and ‘Now’ we see contrast of characters such as Don Draper and Peggy Olson.

Don Draper, the lead character, demands authority as he walks into a room, towers over his colleagues and wife, emulates Fitzgerald’s Jay Gatsby in his pursuit for success and drive, yet his internal misgivings, and immorality. Mad Men is built upon the pursuit of the American dream, and each characters ability or inability to obtain it.

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Peggy Olson, the aspirational, seemingly wholesome and hard working receptionist, completely at the will of the men around her and their inhibitions.  Her scandal and misunderstanding of the nature of the workplace put her in difficult situations.  Peggy is contrasted to Joan, well advanced, capable and hypnotically seductive.  Outside the office we have Mrs Draper and the wives of Don’s co-workers, seemingly normal but inherently flawed due to scandal, expectation or mistrust (Mimi White – Mad Women in Mad Men, 2011).

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Don Draper and Peggy Olson experience different hardships throughout the episode.  Their context of “Then’ and ‘Now’ are different.  Peggy attempts to climb the ladder, by doing so she finds herself aborting a child. Don, driven and power hungry has the office constantly orbiting around him.

The opening scene has the women speaking about sewing and patterns, whilst the men speak of the upcoming presidential election. This divide is consistent throughout the episode, in today’s world, the women would also speak about politics, yet Mad Men communicates politics as a strictly Men’s Business, emphasizing conservatism, with many references to hard lined right wing philosopher Ayn Rand.  Conservative thought is also consistent due to the small role played by a single colored maid, and the understanding of the role of families, men and women.

The office generally holds a sense of ‘power relations’, whether the office is too small and crowded, such as Peggy’s, or too large and overwhelming, such as Don’s.  Space and angles are used as a tool to influence viewers in each scene. These tools are also consistent in other areas such as the Draper home, or the office of Mrs Drapers therapist.

Peggy, assists in marketing ‘The Relaxiciser ‘ a product that can reduce a woman’s weight, as well as provide pleasure. Peggy and her male-seemingly lazy- co-worker interview for the voice-over.  Three women, one beautiful, the other two average.  Peggy immediately singles out the beauty, indicating that what they are selling is ‘confidence’.  Peggy, frustrated that the beautiful woman did not sound confident enough dismissed her by announcing it from behind the recording studio.

Her male colleague indicates the most beautiful women are the least confident, for Peggy this did not make sense. We also see Peggy get promoted in this episode and Don use Peggy as a chess piece to strategically take the sails out of his colleagues success. Again, Peggy is unaware of the dynamics that exist within the workplace of men.

Don’s attempt to re-invigorate the marketing behind the Kodak wheel product brings to light an unexpected realization as he comes to terms with the fact that he cannot recover the past, but merely keep safe the memories to turn back to.  Don Draper presents his nostalgic take on the new Kodak product.  Nostalgia literally meaning to ‘ache from the pain of your own wound’. Projecting images of happier times, Don is overtaken.

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Don returns home to an empty house, his family having left for Thanksgiving.  Don sits on the stairs, never having looked smaller before in a shot. We see the contrast of ‘Then’ and ‘Now’ is great and irrecoverable, as was Gatsby’s green light. 

True Detective: The complexity of a three point narrative (Season 1, Episode 1)

True Detective’s three point narrative leaves the viewer wrought with questions.  Martin Hart (Woody Harrelson) and Rustin Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) successfully employ the age old dynamic of ‘Good Cop’ and ‘Bad Cop’, whilst the broader narrative allows the viewer to draw their own conclusion on the information presented. Set in the deep south on a seemingly low budget, the scene is populated within minutes.  The horrific, ‘ritualistic’ crime scene and the recount of events from the perspective of both Hart and Cohle, give the viewer the idea of what to anticipate for the series. s1e1-crime-scene Hart and Cohle inherently react differently to the scene.  In addition, the camerawork employed during the interviews immediately paint an image of each lead character.  Hart: in a suit, clean, shaven, lit room, constant eye contact, camera angle insinuates authority.  In contrast Cohle is somewhat dishevelled, unshaven, the lighting is poor, the room less attractive, he displays signs of weakness through addictions such as cigarettes and alcohol. truedetectivemcjpg_2822476b The characters ‘Present’ and ‘Past’ allow a point of evaluation, an understanding of what had occurred and evolved over the past 17 years. Questions also arise as to the nature of the current investigation. The separate narratives continue to build upon the characters and the background of the story. It also becomes clear that the chemistry between the two partners is strained, tainted with both indifference and appreciation. Hart, the family man, recounts his story with emotion, descriptive words, peoples names, places.  Hart only does half of the work, the camera doing the rest. True-Detective-Marty-Hart-walks-out-on-his-interview Cohle, the loner, a complicated past, raw, analytic, factual, irate, belief in the supernatural, insomniac, atheist. Oddly, Hart is recalling his memory of ‘Rust’ as he referred to him.  Cohle is recalling purely the details of the case, or cases over the past 17 years, the inconsistency in narrative gives the idea that Cohle is somewhat sinister.

Marty: “That’s why they called him the ‘Tax Man’, he had this big ledger and he would go door to door with it”. “I have seen all different types” “A smart guy who is steady is hard to find… He was smart” “I saw how he was living… A man past a certain age without a family is a bad thing”

Rust: “We encountered the Meta-psychotic, which I had to explain to Marty what Meta-psychotic was”

Upon reviewing the crime scene, Rust recounts his conclusions to Marty immediately, with precsion.  Marty enquires as to whether he had drawn the conclusion from one of his many ‘books’.

Marty: “When you attach an assumption to a piece of evidence you start to bend the narrative to support it”

The most intriguing dialogue is that between the two characters.  The line spoken by Hart about ‘bending the narrative’ to support conclusions is a key indicator as to how viewers choose to selectively interpret the narrative presented in True Detective. Whether we adapt to Hart’s view, Cohle’s view or our own separate interpretation. Many points throughout the episode we see a birds eye view that encompasses the whole town, this allows the viewer to believe that they can see everything, and in doing so draw an individual conclusion. The cliche southern small town also allows a sense of familiarity. 75 During the commute from the scene to the office, Hart attempts to have a ‘heart to heart’ with Cohle over witnessing the crime scene.  He enquires as to Cohle’s religious belief, Cohle provides a long strung philosophical answer, indicating that he is what is considered a ‘pessimist. At this stage, the camera brings in a shadow across Cohle, whilst the sun seems to be solely on Hart’s side of the vehicle.

Rust: “I think human consciousness is a tragic misstep in evolution; we became too self-aware” “Nature created an aspect of nature too separate from itself… We are creatures that should not exist by natural law”. “We are things that labour under the illusion of having a self, this accretion of sensory experience and feeling, programmed with total assurance that we are each somebody, when in fact everybody is nobody” “I think the honourable thing to do is… walk hand-in-hand into extinction”

This response has a more direct impact on Hart than the crime scene itself.  It is clear that there are many more layers to the complexity of Cohle as a character, and even Hart for that matter.  Three aspects of narrative build intrigue about the story behind the current investigation and the past crime.

The comprehensive narrative also allows us to delve into the cultural, religious and political setting, which prompts further questions and keeps viewers drawn in. The use of angles, and close proximity to each characters narration gives insight and almost an understanding or relation to the characters.

The interview with Cohle ends with him saying ‘You had better start asking the right questions’. Human nature leaves viewers desperate for a conclusion ‘rather than resting back to a steady-state equilibrium at the end of the episode’ (Jason Mittel, Complex TV, 2013).

The Bridge: Transnational x 2 Cultures – Subtitles = S1, Episode 1

Culture, what is culture? How is it comprised? Our culture, their culture? Let’s look deeper into culture, as we experience it through the familiar form of Television (Hirsh, Newcomb, 1983)

The Bridge: Season 1, Episode 1

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No subtitles, I am at the mercy of my observations, existing knowledge and analytical skills. I look, listen and focus…

And it starts, the opening scene is dark, eerie, immediately I associate this with crime and mystery.Screen shot 2014-08-27 at 9.49.02 PM

The surroundings are unclear, yet surprisingly familiar.  I know that a crime has been committed, I have not yet seen a body, but the universal clues all point to one thing. Murder. 

Then, the camera gives me more. I see a large Bridge, night lights, an urban city, the camera’s vantage points allow me to see the whole city, what is beyond the vocal point that is The Bridge. 

Music, adding weight to my conviction. This is definitely a Crime Scene.  Until now, the characters have been illusive, no faces, just shadows.  I pay even greater attention than usual.

Then, there it is, the body, perfectly still as if sleeping. The camera does not shy away, the corpse is logically placed, as though the killer perfected this moment, we see this on many angles and through the faces of onlookers.

The female and male cop emerge separately.  They finally cross paths, there is a clear misunderstanding between the two, an incessant tension, yet I can’t place my finger on it. I feel that the writer of the script has given me more credit than I deserve as the viewer.  Am I supposed to know? 

It is still dark, still night, I cannot see any literal emotion emerging from the characters so far.  Maybe this is how they are  in.. Europe? Europe, it makes sense, they are dressed warm, surely the accents are European.  The female women are fair haired.  Okay, I google Northern Europe. Getting closer (Arjun, 1996).

Screen shot 2014-08-27 at 8.38.13 PMI see the body again, it’s split in two.  Split in two, laying there on the Bridge. The camera stays on the image for a few seconds longer, making me uncomfortable. Europeans, they have no fear.  

The role of the camera has changed now, it is not giving me the aeriel view, but allowing me to follow the story along, watching, I watch people walk away, cars drive out of shot. I listen too, I listen to the tones of voice, the vocal’s do not express raw emotion, they seem to be mostly matter of fact statements. 

I start to like the characters, they are real. They are exactly what I expect of real life cops, they are not glamourous, chasing criminals in jeans and low tops.  They are comfortable, they sleep on real crumpled, ugly linen, in an awkward position, with their average looking lover.  They have fluffy hair in the wind and it blows in their faces (Cunningham, Jacka, Sinclair, 1995). 

It’s so real.  I had become so accustomed to the Hollywood interpretation of crime fighting, I was not expecting this. 

The lifestyle of the lead characters also give me the idea that there is an economic divide between the two.  They drive different cars, they wear different styles of clothes, there is a clear difference in work ethic and health habits. Most of all differences in what is considered socially acceptable behaviour, such as offering bread rolls to others or undressing in front of colleagues. 

The best part was the office, horrible artificial light, chords spiralling everywhere, desks that could be from the eighties.  Yes, that is more like it. In this scene, it is clear the male cop is a fish out of water, he speaks, they look to him with expressionless faces, no words. 

There have been enough clues now, either he has some irritable speech impediment, possible odour or they are from two different countries. That’s right across the bridge.  I think of the division of the Bolte Bridge that divides the East from the West, I would never go West. 

Research, they do it.  It takes time and effort, it’s not this light bulb moment.  The computers are not flat screen and portable.  They are bulky pieces of hardware, they keep searching, talking, speculating, making notes. 

More characters are introduced, they look professional, technical, modern, possibly the media? Then there is a bomb scare, and we have the first solid clue. 

Closing credits, the music is familiar, it’s in English! Huh (Iwabuchi, 2008).

I know there is more to this narrative, I have sketches of the clues, to piece them together, I must keep watching. 

Episode 2…

Sunrise: Play by Play of the London 2012 Olympics from the Couch

Sunrise, we all know it. Australia’s number one breakfast show, it’s in the background as we get ready for work- keeping track of our time, it’s the show we watched when we stayed home from school, sick.  

How could we forget the greatest role Sunrise has played in our lives, giving us the most important information we need, when we needed it.  Remember the magnificent work of channel 7, transporting us from the couch to London in 2012… 

8:14am Thursday 26 July, 2012 – Day before the Opening Ceremony

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The day before the Opening Ceremony, we are getting excited.  We are looking at the clock, thinking about the time in London. The lovely-not too glamorous show host Mel gives us an idea of what to expect.  Immediately we are transported from the Ordinary to the Extraordinary in London, iconic Big Ben in the background, the live siren pulsing in the bottom right hand side of the TV screen. 

We are all captivated, watching together. We hear of the female correspondents endeavour to stalk the royals, how exciting, ‘Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, The Royals.’ Then news that we can buy Kate Middleton’s same dress for just 35 pounds, where can we get it!? We watch the royals on our screen, they playing football, just like us. We all want to ‘stalk’ the royals.  So we keep watching. 

7:23am Friday 27 July, 2012 – 2012 London Olympics Opening Ceremony

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Finally, the day has arrived, we wouldn’t know it unless we tuned in to Sunrise with the exclusive rights.  

From studio 52, we go live to London, seamlessly. 

The first male correspondent is at the stadium, he tells us of the incredible atmosphere, he speaks of the weather, the possible shower that passed.  Yes, we know it’s real, you have us.  Gather the family (Anderson, 1983), this historic event is happening now, LIVE.  We are all a part.

Then we cross to the female correspondent she tells us the ceremony cost 40 million, she excitedly recounts the celebrities that are present including; Daniel Craig, J K. Rowling, exasperated she says there’s more.  We see it, fireworks over Big Ben and the London Bridge, just as extravagant as we expected

Back to the studio and the twitter feed has ignited @London2012.

7:47am Friday 27 July, 2012 – 2012 London Olympics – Home And Away Games

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The London 2012 logo is there again, we know it’s happening.  Our host’s are now on the couch with us, us in our PJ’s, them in suits (J Weiten & M. Panti, 2005). Sam Says:

“Our Olympians are in great shape heading into these games”

We know, we get the notion that the liveness is a facade (Ellis, 1992).  We don’t care.  Switch from the studio to the pre-recorded segment ‘Home and Away Games,’ familiar theme song, wrong time of day, London in the background instead of Summer Bay.

The voiceover convincingly tells us of the many Australian’s that are a part of the Olympics.  Running the Public Transport, managing security, managing the sites.  It might as well be us, I’ll bet we know them, might be related.  Screen fades into a continuing reel of London tourist attractions, we know all of them. 

Then we are back to the couch at Sunrise, fascination on our faces, tantalising us all (Dayan and Katz, 1992).

8:44am Friday 27 July, 2012 – 2012 London Olympics – Then and Now

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A quick recap of the former London Olympic Games in 1948.  We are transported to a darker time, the TV is now in black and white, clippings of World War II, Hitler, the destruction, impoverished people.  It’s all running a bit slower at 8:45am, we pace ourselves with the past. 

We hear the story recounted from two Australian Olympians, one a swimmer, the other a sprinter, we love them both. They are sentimental, sweet.  We go into their homes and they share precious memories.

We feel a sense of pride, patriotism, and nostalgia as he displays the Australian flag.  This is our heritage, our history.  

Back on the couch the presenters are chiming about the sentimental piece, looking at one another with glee. 

8:54am Friday 27 July, 2012 – 2012 London Olympics – Pop Culture, Music Genre

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Things are different now.  Some of us have gone off to work, others off to school or university, and some of us are settling little ones down to nap.

Meanwhile, attractive show host James Tobin is interviewing Billy Corgan, lead singer from Smashing Pumpkins.  The interview is pre-recorded, it’s clear we aren’t in the studio.  

Tobin moves from the screen. Hmmm, lets switch off.  

 6:40am Sunday 29 July, 2012 – 2012 London Olympics – Aussie Olympians

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It’s still happening, how could we forget!  Our favourites, Kochie and Mel remind us on Weekend Sunrise.  

We like the chemistry between these two.  Screen shot 2014-08-27 at 2.42.02 PM

The set is different, enveloped with Green and Gold.  Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! The familiar chant comes to mind.  

The close up of Kochie and Mel zooms out to see the whole audience there, cheering on our Aussie’s.  Everyone is there, mum’s, dad’s, brother’s, sister, uncles, kids.  Complete with Australian Flags.  Kochie and Mel interview three former Olympians, we get an idea of what our Olympians are going through, what we can expect.  They need us to cheer them on.

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie! Oy, Oy, Oy!

Time to get ready.  I stand up from the couch, alone.  where did everyone go?

As Rath cited Morey, the empty space, momentarily filled was once again void (2000)

The Daily Show: Serving up Politics for the Average Consumer (May 21, 2014)

As I settle down with my cup of tea to watch the Daily Show, I enter into a surreal world where news events of the day are churned back at me once again, resonating with mockery.

The opening credits provide an immediate sense of interconnectedness and familiarity through the circulating globe, and the ever present backdrop of the world map.

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I focused in on a clear picture of the show host and renowned comedian, Jon Stewart. He is cheered on by the ever present, yet invisible, audience.

As Jon speaks, I check the time involuntarily, seconds in I am reminded of time due to the urgency of the host in speedily drawing out the content to be aired.   Stewart as host is unnervingly present, his tone of voice, facial expressions, body language all play a significant role in the way I personally react to the information.

After the preamble, Stewart launches into a segment where he publicly apologises for offending the Phillies Manager, Ryne Sandsburg. The segment becomes somewhat crude; I think to myself why on earth would ‘this’ be the opening segment. I recall the musings of ‘David Simon’ and his disdain for the average reader, I think to myself F%$# the average viewer too.

Stewart, without skipping a beat launches into the next regular segment called ‘The Democalypse 2014 – The Race to Continued Incumbency.’

He provides an update on the mid-term elections, bringing to life the polls indicating the recent defeat of the Republican Party in many seats. I see the flash of maps on the screen and pin points demonstrating this.

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Stewart uses the term ‘purple nurpled’ to describe the state of the Republican Party after the defeat; we all know what that means in the playground, defeat. I notice the usual sender- receiver dynamic is not at play here; Jon himself is speaking with me, not at me. I start to notice the tactics employed to provide the illusion of two-way communication.

Tone, eye contact, facial expressions, open ended questions, inclusive language…I am there, in studio 513 W. Purple Nurpled, that’s funny, I should tweet it. (Tay, Turner, 2010)

I settle back to the show. News, the highest demanded information on television, satisfied I think of the many choices I have available, should I flip the channel? I can download this later, or just check online. No, I keep watching.

The next segment is a full segment called ‘The Election of Doom’ captivated, I was transported to India as the hustle and bustle and colour of India’s markets came into my living room filling my samsung. The idea of bringing democracy to India in an ‘Indiana Jone’s’ fashion was purely entertaining. Hilarious. America exporting politics to 1.2 billion. Ironic. Yes. India, I can almost smell the butter chicken. 

The mission to provide democracy quickly turned into a mission to save Indian Television from poor political reporting. My screen transformed into an Indian television, confusing me about the Indian Election, multiple people speaking, dialogue and words I cannot decipher. It placed me completely outside of my cultural comfort zone. Differences between the two cultures of the medium were explored, prettier hosts, graphics, polls etc were praised by India, whilst America playfully mocked India for the confusing way of presenting television news and the corruption of the print news industry. 

Final segment, the anticipated interview with Timothy F. Geither. As the guest enters, Jon turns his swivel chair to face him, instantly creating a shift from audience interaction to audience spectatorship.

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Stewart physically holds up the item of discussion, recently published, ‘Stress Test, Reflections on Financial Crisis.’ Jon invites the audience to critically evaluate the success or failure of the economic bailout, the interview proceeds in lamen’s terms, analogies of planes crashing, free massages, and so on.

Jon then gives the example of the optical illusion of the young girl or old woman, relative to America’s view of the bailout: 

“One might see a young girl, then you flip it, and you see America getting F#$%^&*”.

Ha-ha, the audience echoes with me. Should I tweet that? No, too controversial.

Stewart swivels back, [camera zooms in] direct eye contact, and says:

“I have no idea how we will edit this”.

Snap, I am back on the couch.  He continues.

“There is so much about this on the web; ‘we’ might have broken the web”. I laugh.

And close credits. I realise the circulating globe is the world spinning in confusion. 

Perplexed I sit up; look at my phone, confused as to how I feel about the last 22 minutes of my life. Jon directly addressed me, offended me, made me cringe, and made me laugh. It was the end of this odd social experience, and I had the desired to share and replicate the information I had obtained (Allen & Hill, 2004). I had engaged in the most essential component of modern democratic society. Yet, I wanted more, phone in hand:

Facebook>Search>The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Click) make that 4,553,638 likes.

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Social Media Empowers Constituents

The emerging role of Social Media has drastically changed the political landscape.  I would like to draw particular attention to the power of constituents within the social networking realm.

In 2012 Facebook was recorded to have 845 million active users worldwide each month, making it the most utilized social media service in the world.  In 2011 Twitter recorded 300 million users, then of course there is YouTube, with more than 1 billion users accessing the site each month.

These social media services have empowered the average voter, with the ability to create content with as little as a smart phone device.  These forces of social media have essentially lowered those traditional socio-economic and political barriers to obtaining the spotlight. In todays age constituents simply need internet access of a reasonable speed to broadcast a message to their social networking audiences.

During an election period, or on a particular policy that bodes public attention, it is found that there are many active social media users that solicit their political opinions, and as such impact on the perceptions of their close socially connected groups.

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Source: Nadine Hoare Facebook Advert on Home screen

Notably, on Facebook, one is able to list their political preference.  There is also the capacity to join poltically-affiliated groups, or participate in politically affiliated debates or conversations online.  The power of socially connected constituents is a force to be reckoned with.

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Source: http://mashable.com/2011/11/17/social-media-political-campaigns/