If a picture is worth a thousand words, how much is a smirk by a broadcaster during a national newscast worth? How much damage might it do if it is making light of people, particularly nudists?
I asked myself these questions after watching the CBC National newscast on Monday night. One of the last stories read by host Wendy Mesley was about a recent report on bad behaviour in Canada’s national parks.
Other media outlets had reported on it during the past few days, too. Parks Canada manages some 46 national parks, 171 historic sites, four marine conservation areas and an urban park. As part of Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations, entrance fees are being waived this summer, and attendance is expected to soar, along with the list of ticketable infractions.
The Parks Canada report featured a list of common infractions between May 2009 and March 2015, with “liquor/noise/campground” disturbances at the top with 5,282 incidents, followed by “illegal camping/camping without a permit” at 4,336 incidents, “illegal hunting/fishing/poaching” at 2,574 incidents and so on and so on.
Way down near the bottom of the list is “Nudism” at 48 incidents.
That’s 48 incidents of people being ticketed in Canada’s national parks over a six-year period, i.e. about 8 people a year.
So, why is that small number worthy of being highlighted in headlines by some media outlets?
And why did Wendy Mesley and the people who write the news stories she reads to millions of Canadians feel it was worthy of mentioning on the air last night?
And why did she feel the need to smirk when she mentioned that fact at the end of the Parks Canada report?
I know the answers, and so do most — if not all — of my naturism readers here. Many media people, and the outlets they serve, do not taken naturism and its practitioners seriously. They think social nudism is funny, something to make light of, the same way people use to make light of gay men once upon a time — i.e. a time when people smirked when they saw effeminate men or a gay couple.
Nudism is not part of today’s politically correct world yet. People feel they can openly make light of nudists, even mock them. You would think that the mockers never take their clothes off.
I suppose it is a reflection of their hangups and lack of body acceptance. That is probably the root of this particular evil. But it is also a reflection of their ignorance, that they give no thought to the damage they do to naturists when they make light of them on such platforms.
Of course, we know that there is nothing funny about punishing people for celebrating nudism in a national park. It is, in fact, persecution. Nudists are among the most oppressed people on the planet — if they come out of the proverbial closet in areas that have not been specifically delegated as “clothing optional.”
Instead of making light of the 48 who were ticketed for being naked in Canada’s parks, a serious journalist might have delved deeper into the subject, and asked why taxpaying naturists are not allowed to be naked in a national park? They might ask why Parks Canada is discriminating against naturists?
The CBC National newscast was not alone in playing up the “nudists” angle in their Parks Canada reports. Many print outlets had the word “nudists” or “nudism” in their headlines, too, — with a wink-wink, nudge-nudge (click bait) angle. (And, lordy, just what is so fucking funny about nudism, anyway! Are these journalists so friggin’ juvenile!? Grow up, folks!)
But there was no click value for Wendy Mesley and the CBC National news on Monday night.
It was a cheap smirk and a cheap shot.
Photo: CBC News logo. (Wikimedia Commons)
This goes beyond merely a cheap shot. Any media member of any sort who does anything like this should be fined at least two days pay and forced to meet with an organization working with these people
Take a deep breath Jillian. If they couldn’t laugh at nudists, who else are they going to be able to make fun of? Disabled people? That’s sort of very un-PC these days and going back to mocking gay folks is a definite no-no. At least women, disabled and gay people can argue that they have no choice, that they were born that way. Nudists can hardly argue that they were born that way. Oh, wait a minute, they can, can’t they? But, still, they can’t argue that they have no choice, more’s the pity. I wonder what the angle on that might be? Hmm.
Ever noted how most conventional comedy usually involves mocking one category of people or another? Even if it is politicians on the whole? I mean we all know they have absolutely no defence and no-one to blame other than themselves, so let’s all press for laws that the only people you can mock or make fun of at the end of newscasts that have been full of misery, disaster, tragedy, poverty and death are politicians. I declare this, from hence onwards, as their new societal role. Make it so.
lol. Poor politicians . . . Why not have newscasters mock themselves at the end of the newscasts?
I agree with timlandry45. I am an AANR member and I used to be an FCN member for many years. These organisations should monitor the media and demand an apology for this type of behaviour. I expect them to stand up for the rights and beliefs of their “paying” members.
I am in a small way doing what I can (in the West Island) to spur on the nudism by opening up my pool to fellow nudist in the evening a couple of times a week. It has been well received although mostly men, but then they too need to air their desires. After all, nudism, as we all know is not about sex.
That sounds very nice. It will catch on, I bet.
I don’t get upset when the stupid folk put their stupidity on display, because it helps me identifiy them as such. In fact, I think to myself, “Until now, you might have been the only person in the world who knows you’re an idiot.”
lol. Thanks for my morning chuckle!
(I’ll bet Mansbridge would have kept a straight face during that report.)
As far as I know, nudity is not explicitly banned in U.S. National Parks, with the notable, (and, notorious,) exception of the Cape Cod National Seashore, in Massachusetts. On the Cape, nudity was common, and no problem, until the early 1970’s, then it was abused by hordes of those who rather suddenly converged on the area, and behaved in a manner which lacked respect for others. I don’t believe, when the locals complained to the National Parks Service, they expected the resulting ban on nudity would still be in effect over 40 years later. It will take an Act of Congress to reverse this ban, which, obviously in today’s political climate in D.C., isn’t likely.
But, on a similar matter, in the Boston figurative art community, a model recently discovered a hidden camera recording video of her posing for a drawing group. She confronted the host, who also runs another weekly drawing group, and he showed her the video, which she immediately deleted. Then, she left, quickly.
It is suspected that this may have been going on at the drawing sessions hosted by this guy, for years, and may involve dozens of other models.
Anyway, the police dectectives handling the investigation have been rather condescending in their attitude towards the models who’ve reported this crime. They haven’t dealt with a situation like this, before, and, their approach was mostly along the lines of, “Well, these are models who already are posing nude for groups where they are drawn, painted, or sculpted. Is it really such a big deal if someone also took some photos or video of them?”
Now, that the number of models making reports about this guy is growing, the police seem to be taking the case more seriously. (The guy who is the focus of the investigation has announced he is closing down his drawing sessions.) But, many models who’ve spoken with the police about this have felt belittled, likened to sex workers, and generally victimized a second time.
The District Attorney’s office is now getting involved, and hopefully they’ll be a little more enlightened in their approach.