Words by: Jonathon Davidson
The team at 4 Corners have evidently grown weary of listening to letters-to-the-editor being read aloud for 30% of an episode and have turned their attention – almost in a strange movement to the opposite extreme – to the history of the CIA and their torture methods used to extract information from suspects.
While the doco Secrets, Politics and Torture is made by US company PBS, Four Corners have been advertising the documentary since the 13th of August and are clearly depending on the broadcast to rake in a large audience.
The focus on the American intelligence agency and their violent tactics is a strange turn of affairs for irregular viewers (admittedly such as myself) seeing as this thrilling expose into the morally and legally questionable behaviour of arguably the world’s largest superpower follows Four Corners reports into the state of Australian cricket and greyhound racing.
Information regarding the documentary is hard to find beyond articles hyping readers up for the debut broadcast, published seventy two hours in advance.
While the documentary is probably worth watching all things considered, the obvious excitement of the program’s social media team still raises interesting questions.
Of main concern is the issue of whether or not this truly relates to Australian audiences at all, or if the subversive nature of the documentary’s content is being relied upon to fill the interest gap where substantial local information is lacking.
Furthermore, the regular Four Corners audience demographic seem ill-contextualized to truly appreciate the message – if the CIA’s long history of criminal activity is news to anybody, it is news far too late.
Of course it is always best later rather than never, and all scrutiny aside, I’m looking forward to sitting down tomorrow night and forgetting all about the goddamn derby.