Wednesday, July 16, 2014

TV Talk - Lance's lying and Discovery gets fined


So where is it that Lance went wrong, is it that he started a path of travel he could not remove himself from with one decision which led inexorably to his fall?


It is easy to think that certain people are a breed apart and my first reaction to watching the excellent TV programme on BBC 4 in the Storyville strand 'The Lance Armstrong Story - Stop at Nothing ' was wow he's a good liar.

Ealing Church- The Saviour


In truth he was a good liar but so was Bill Clinton and perhaps it's something we aspire to when asked the difficult question 'Do you like  my new outfit?/ Do you think I've lost weight? ... etcetera

What were Lord Olivier and Sir Alec Guinness apart from fine 'liars' or is acting a different 'truth'?

 Is avoiding saying something the same as lying?

Did Winston Churchill always tell the truth or was his mission such that it was excusable?


I read Sir Tim Smit's (instigator of the Eden Project in Cornwall)  autobiography some time ago and he described how he would say something and then feel bound to make it true (or have a good shot at least) this seems more like a virtue (to me) than a vice.

An 'old' picture or a lie?
I suppose there's something about an effective liar that makes them better equipped to survive - but socially it is necessary to be able to trust, we're brought up (generally) by our parents, teachers and peer groups to be honest but taking stationary from work or being 'flexible' with the truth on our expenses claims are lying crimes many of us have committed at some time


Is Lance's wrongdoing forgivable?  (Or perhaps logical?)

In September I start a course in Philosophy at CityLit which has as a set book  Thomas Nagel's What does it all Mean? So perhaps I'll be able to answer this question when we've looked at the chapter 'Right and Wrong'.

Discovery and its (UK) OFCOM fine

I was surprised to learn today that Discovery Europe (the broadcaster) had been fined £100,000 for repeatedly transmitting a violent  episodes of Deadly Women ahead ot the TV Watershed - the surprise was around the 'repeated' and the level of the fine.

I spent some years working at Discovery in London and part of my job was to make a regular appearance at the daily 'discrepancy' meetings where incidents around transmission were resolved, some were technical some were procedural and there were events around scheduling.

In my day (and I see no reason to think procedures will have dramatically changed) if the programme had been flagged up as inappropriate it would have been immediately replaced by something less controversial - were Discovery 'told' of the issue after the first showing?

The other surprise is that  OFCOM might  think that £100,000 is a relevant punishment for such a large company - the cast to me is again a reminder that in the multi channel globalised IP universe TV is increasingly difficult to police and  that we need to get over it.


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