Generally speaking, we do not watch commercial TV at our household. It's not a matter of principle but rather testimony to the quality of programs on Australia's three commercial TV channels. The only time we give them a chance is when they broadcast good films, and during these exceptions we always fast forward the commercials. I could not, however, ignore the following:
A harsh serious voice, of the type normally used in film teasers (ala "this time it's personal"), recounting how "people from the Far East" are buying OUR houses and then leave them empty while Aussies are left unable to fulfill our dreams of ever owning a house of our own. Enhanced through the insertion of a distorted images such as one depicting several people of Far Eastern appearance made to look nasty, you could have easily mistaken the message to be a Joseph Goebbels blast from the past; but it isn't. That was a prime time promo for Channel 7's prime time program current affairs, Today Tonight.
It sent shivers through my spine. This fucked up promo had all the classic Elders of Zion racial propaganda trademarks, including distortion of the truth and looking at a very narrow bit of the facts (as if pure bred whites do not buy investment properties). I felt ashamed in the thought that friends of mine who happen to be of Far Eastern origins might view this shameful testimony of the way some of their peers view them.
The problem is not a new one. Channel 7 has been playing the racial card in its ratings war with Channel 9 for a while now, with flagship programs like Border Security (a reality show scaring locals through the demonstration of all the nasty things wanting to get inside our homeland) and even with the way they market programs like The Pacific, a World War 2 series on American soldiers in the Pacific theaters, as "the fight for Australia".
The scary thing is that aside of criticism from the likes Marieke Hardy in her ex column at The Age we're letting the culprits get away with it. The scary thing is that since playing the racial card Channel 7 has been winning its ratings war. What does that say of us?
Caving to mounting pressures, the federal government has reinstated limitation it had removed due to the GFC on foreigners buying Australian real estate. I agree, there is a supply problem and letting outsiders in only increases the problem; but I think the solutions are clear for all to see, mainly in the form of doing something about the tax benefits real estate investments have over other, more constructive, forms of investment.