What a Country – What Masters of Broadcast!
A Golden Skunk cannot remove the stigma of the monstrous gaffe
“What a country – what Masters of Broadcast!”, as the hosts of the eponymous parody show would gleefully exclaim. However, this time the joke is on them.
What Masters of Broadcast! Unbelievably, in the last few days we saw how the Halvadjiyan hounds fell into their own trap, after a botched attempt to capture not just their audience but the entire nation with scenes of physical violence against their reporter Dimitur Vurbanov. The truth, however, shone brightly merely 24 hours later – the surveillance cameras exposed the vile insinuation for what it was. The MoB correspondent from the town of Veliko Turnovo made a dramatic plunge to the floor (much as a desperate football player in the penalty area), and it turned out that the owners of a warehouse for expired foods, which was the subject of his investigation, haven’t as much as laid a finger on him.
The echo of this parody reverberated so strongly throughout the media that we witnessed a paradox – the Masters of Broadcast had to give the Golden Skunk Prize of Shame to themselves, not once but twice. Once to the reporter, Vurbanov, who was hastily kicked out of the team, and then to the man at the very top of the pyramid – the producer Judy Halvadjiyan himself.
“As a reporter and as a person, I was incessantly bothered by the thought that tons of foods kept lying around (at the warehouse) all summer. They could easily reach consumers, since the warehouse was still functioning. I tried to show what’s inside and what was happening. That’s when things happened, and they unfolded beyond my control. Adrenaline, emotions and my desire to wrap up this case are to blame for my odd behaviour at the end. Information spread like wildfire, fanned by all those bombastic headlines. I found one main fault in myself – my inability to keep things under control. Yet, my actions weren’t calculated. I’d wish to apologize to all my colleagues, to the team of Masters of Broadcast and to all viewers who were led to believe that I meant to dupe them.”, Vurbanov said as he was accepting the Skunk of Disgrace. The fired reporter addressed the team of MoB “Please promise me to bring this case to a conclusion – they must stop selling spoiled foods”. A day later, the producer Judy also withstood the ‘award ceremony’ ordeal.
“As producers, we have to take the bad with the good”, the younger Halvadjiyan brother uttered with a sad smile meant to pull at the heartstrings of viewers. This impromptu scenario failed to disperse the heavy shadow cast over the show. Instead, it added fuel to spiteful comments.
One significant point remained unclear – how long shall we let them tube-feed us cheap, short-lived sensations and unconvincing reports? Do a Golden Skunk and an allegedly ‘heartfelt’ apology by the producer suffice to move the stale waters of the TV marsh? When shall we finally define unambiguous criteria and set clear boundaries between good and bad TV quality?
One thing is certain – as long as viewers keep gulping down the cheap and ungainly imitations of investigative journalism, the media will lack motivation to clean up their act.