Frontline Add Sex and Stir Essay
Sitch et al’s “Frontline” demonstrates in the episode, “…Add Sex & Stir”, how the truth can be easily manipulated with the aid of technology in hope of producing a controversial “true” story that will boost the ratings. It also shows how in the world of mass media, credibility is considered to be of vital importance and is practically treated as the product traded in the industry. Sitch et al satirises that commercial TV, despite having the absolute care for their own image, will go as far as extending the truth to the point that it ruins another person’s image, all for the sake of ratings.
The episode starts with Brian referring to women’s sports feature as the “Mortal Enemy of Ratings. ” By personifying ratings, it amplifies how they are irresolute when it comes to those types of stories. These stories are referred to in such a way because there are no big sponsors therefore little or nothing can be profited from making this coverage. With this, it also reveals how a story is chosen not for its substantial content but because of its projected monetary value when it will be aired.
When Marty mentions “Take any story, add sex and stir,” with the use of a flagrant metaphor it ridicules how stories can easily be modified for ratings and profit like any other recipe. Ironically, a sudden change of opinion is evident after Brian learns that the story undertakes a member being dropped from the team for not being gay. This quick shift from rejection to acceptance exposes how commercial TV does not have any reluctance in reporting a controversial story as it attracts the curiosity of the viewers.
The interview with Allison proceeds, without even looking at the whole story and confirming the issue with other members of the sporting team. Accepting the idea and fabricating a full length feature of this interview despite knowing that there will devastating events not only to the interviewee but to the whole sport, shows the hypocrisy that for a story to be amazing it only needs a great amount of entertainment value.
During the interview, Brooke refers to Allison as the “star player” which is a double entendre because an inside joke is shared with the audience that Allison is the “star” of the controversial story. One of the policies mentioned was that Frontline does not pay interviewees yet when Allison is given an all expense paid trip to Gold Coast just so she could “chill out” exposes the hypocrisy because this is essentially the same thing as paying her. After the interview, the true story is manipulated by using noddies and other various camera techniques to cover up the change of question.
This was used to show how much the media relies on different techniques because without the noddies the obvious “jump” of scene would be evident thus giving away that the story was edited. Getting Allison “out of the circulation” was done to prevent any issues with seeing the edited story. Frontline wanted to avoid dealing with other media organisations which Allison may contact to expose that they fabricated a new twist to the story. A “re-enacment” which was the exaggerated misinterpretation of the truth was used as a visual to the story.
After the story was reported, the team captain confronts Brooke that Allison was dropped from the team due to “poor form. ” Brooke then claims this as an “ambush” which is quite ironic because in reality she was the one who ambushed the whole team’s reputation for telling the wrong side of the story. Mike’s cocktail party and his vain attempt to get RSVP’s from his colleagues satirises the silly front man of his vanity and his ignorance. It was a joke in the office because it was either they were forced to go to the party, or they only wanted to see what would happen.
The whole idea of the party, that had many iconic figures, was used to satirise the pretence of the “journalists” in knowing everything but in reality they rely heavily on idiot boards and Teleprompters. Mike’s proposal of doing an advertisement for a prominent company was rejected for it would “ruin his image” was later traded for an appearance at Burke’s Backyard. This was very ironic because at Burke’s Backyard Mike appears silly and idiotic which really ruins not only his image but also his credibility.
This exemplifies the importance of a journalist’s credibility in the industry and that if he has lost it; he is as good as fired. To sum it up, the episode exposes how the truth can be distorted, manipulated and sacrificed all for the sake of ratings. It also exposes how credibility and image is most important and that these current affairs show will do anything and everything just to preserve it. Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” encapsulates the idea of converting the starving and poor children of Ireland into beneficial and useful members of society.
With this idea, Swift satirises not only the government’s lack of efficacy but the Irish people’s inability to get out of poverty by themselves. The essay starts with describing the issue as a “melancholy subject” which instantly implies that the topic to be undertaken will be quite heavy and confronting. This is evident as it talks about the ugly truth and conditions happening in the streets of Ireland which is filled with poor people living their lives as beggars and poor children whose future has already been planned out for them; that they turn out to be either thieves or beggars.
Swift’s language then changes from straightforward to judgemental because at first he was merely describing the realistic situation then he shifts to “instead of working for their livelihood,” which implies that the poor are also the ones at fault as to why they are still in poverty. This sudden shift of language implies that Swift’s proposal is neither on the government nor on the people’s side and that he is giving a proposal which will be beneficial to all may they be rich or poor.
Though he is compassionate, his sentiments both disapprove of the poor’s approach toward their situation while he critiques how society continues to influence the poor’s poverty. When he refers to those who would find the solution to the problem as someone who is “worthy of a statue,” with exaggeration it ridicules the Irish government who are seemingly unable to fix the problem themselves which is why they are willing to find someone who will do this job for them.
He then says that the country will be unable to provide the poor Irish children with employment for they “neither build houses…nor cultivate land,” by being overly straightforward and realistic, the government’s national priorities are satirised. He exposes how they are so poor in weighing out the national issues and priorities, which is one of the major contributing factors to the economic status of Ireland. After a series of statistics and shared personal experience, the “proposer” shows that he is not morally indifferent in doing this proposal.
Even though he knows that eating children is reprehensible, he is still quick to point out and justify the economic and social benefits of this act. Throughout the essay, the proposer exposes the degradation of the nation in so many shocking and literal ways. By backing up his arguments with statistics and scientific reasoning, he is disturbingly effective in trying to persuade people in accepting the proposal.
He then points out that the proposal will be able to help in building a strong Irish economy, which in turn pokes fun at the political policies which instead of helping the people who will be able to contribute to the economy, they focus on making the rich, richer. In the end, the biting irony of this essay is that the proposer does not have “children that he can propose to get a single penny” yet he can easily propose horrible things to be done to the children for profit because he is not the one who will be distressed and affected.
In frontline, multiple camera techniques and witty dialogue were used to expose how easily stories can be manipulated, but also to entertain them. The ironic essay on the other hand, with his grimly ironic arguments, successfully shocks the readers but in the end causes them to think critically about the nation’s problems. Both texts have used a wide array of techniques to get their message across the viewer or the reader which make them both very successful satires in stating their purpose.