Early indoctrination

I got home a touch earlier from work than usual yesterday, and for once, sat down to watch Newsround as my internet at home had packed up. I was there just long enough to catch a segment on animal testing.

Now I'm not going to go into the relative merits of animal testing per se. It's something which frankly, I've spent more than enough time arguing with people about on both sides and bollocks to any more of that.

However, having had faintly fond memories of Newsround from my childhood (even though the bastards never picked me to do any reports), I was mildly upset by what I saw, which was basically a straight-up hatchet job by a show which is supposed to be a basic news service for children. Frankly it feels like a little bit of my liberal upbringing has been cruelly shown to be a sham.

My radar first picked up when they were allowed to film inside an Oxfordshire lab - something animal testers have repeatedly refused all news programmes for fear that they will be shown to treat the test subjects inhumanely, over and above what is done as part of experimentation. The policy arose out of repeated exposes by both animal rights exponents and television crews - not least from the BBC.

What followed was the construction of a temple of bias.

Newsround's (hugely patronising) reporter said filming was not allowed only because 'it's not very clean for testing' and made a big thing about the disinfected environment. They got through the whole segment without ever showing any actual test subjects (except for healthy mice running gleefully over a tester's hands), while explaining the pro side they refused to outline the reasons usually given for being anti-testing and worst of all were the interview subjects.

On the one hand there was the distinguished doctor of testing, who gave a powerful, lucid account of how mice are incredibly similar to humans etc. On the other, an eight year old child saying it's a bit mean.

Now, if this was a Libcom pisstake, that'd be fair enough, and hilarious (a lot of the AR people do sound like that). However for a programme pretending to be teaching children how to be objective in reporting, and more than that giving them a rounded view of political issues, it was fucking sickening. The 'reporters' involved should be ashamed of themselves.

Posted By

Rob Ray
Oct 12 2006 11:19


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