Swift and Shift Couriers butts up against the deification of the armed services. Net result – censorship & stupid policy

December 5, 2008 |

The Age’s piece SBS Swift action at Kovcos’ complaint is another disturbing drift to censoring anything that pokes fun at our modern day Sacred Cows.  And the the ADF seems to be the top heifer in that paddock.  Twenty years ago the ADF and Army Reserve were having a hard time getting a recruiting table at a University and thirty years ago the looney left wanted to ban the ANZAC day parade.  And anyone who has seen One day of the Year by Seymour will realise that when the baby boomers were in full throat the army was seen as a national curse not the current blessing. I think the army is a proud institution that deserves respect.  But not subservience.

Swift and Shift Couriers is biting, often crass, but more often witty and slightly scatalogical humour which aims to offend and amuse in equal measure.  SBS knew what it was getting into.  Swift is not much different than Pizza, by the same producers, and that program went down then up a list of ethnic groups to offend and other groups to poke and prod.  Not everyone’s taste but part of the panoply of humour that should be available to all. 

Last Monday’s episode contained a very thinly veiled parody of the farce that was the recovery of Kovko’s (the character being “David Cobbgrove”) body (as well as an alternate demise) as a premise to get the story moving.  SBS being the loyal supporter of its programs wimped it when the Kovko’s appeared from the back blocks yet again to have a whinge and a whine.   

“SBS was approached by members of Jake Kovco’s family who expressed concern at some of the content in this week’s episode of Swift and Shift Couriers,” an SBS spokesperson told TV Tonight.

“After reviewing next week’s episode and in light of the impending memorial service for an Australian soldier recently killed in Afghanistan, SBS exercised sensitivity and made a decision not to broadcast the second episode of Swift and Shift Couriers scheduled for next week.”

TV tonight has a good coverage.  Networks that commission works should stand by their product.  They have to show support to give integrity to the creative process,  More importantly they have to stare down calls for censorship when the main complaint is taste.  These days PC is about flag, army and veterans taking the place of multiculturalism, feminism and race.  PC about either is equally obnoxious. 

One thing is for sure, I am getting thoroughly sick of the family Kovko.  Jake Kovko’s mother and widow have been given kid glove treatment as they waded into and out of the inquest into his death.  The scope of their input during and outside of the inquest was far in excess of the standing they should have had.  Anyone else would have been carpted by the Coroner.  It was hardly a stellar day for the legal system.  They are entitled to comment but their complaint about the findings was hardly fair when they gave no credible alternate explanation.  Jake Kovko’s mother was just plain boorish.  Now they have a hand in old fashioned censorship.  Surely their 15 minutes is up by now.

Shame on SBS and the Kovkos.

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