Friday, September 15, 2006

Cannibalism? Hogwash!

Well I have to say I'm disappointed that the Indonesian authorities didn't jail the Today Tonight crew (see yesterday's "Justice for All" post); instead, they evicted them from the country after they admitted they were there to work not as tourists. And what was this so-important story they were there to film? Oh, Naomi! Oh, TT crew! Where is your research department, and what are they paid for!? The crew were there, ladies and gentlemen, "to save a Papuan orphan from being eaten by his cannibal tribe". Sixty Minutes did a story on the poor orphan boy four months ago but decided it was "too costly" to rescue him, so the TT team went in like Wonder Woman and the Stooges to do what Nine Network wouldn't do. And to top it all off, Seven are saying that Robson and her crew were dobbed in to the Indonesians and flew straight into an ambush set up by rival network Nine!

Never let the facts get in the way of a good story. Research by a good many historians and anthropologists has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that not only aren't there any cannibal tribes, there almost certainly never were! Cannibalism is the jungle equivalent of urban myth. No researcher has ever been able to find an actual person who ate someone, it's always "in the old days" or "the tribe over the hill". And it's not hard to see why the legends would have been made up in the first place, either. A vulnerable village or tribe who told every visitor they were cannibals, or lived next door to cannibals, would have been left well alone by raiders. And telling the kids to be back at the hut by dark in case the cannibals got him would have obtained unquestioning obedience.

This isn't conjecture. A simple web search on the truth about cannibalism would have told the intrepid idiots from TT that. But then, I guess current affairs isn't about telling the truth, it's about making the truth. What wasn't even an issue today becomes tomorrow's story, if told in the right way, and that of course makes it next week's paycheck. But come on, Today Tonight and Sixty Minutes, try reporting the real news for a change, you might discover someone is interested in that, too!

The Straight Dope - Is there such a thing as cannibalism?
Courier Mail - Robson Frogmarched Home
The Australian - Robson Set Up by Nine
NineMSN News - Rivals Fight Over Cannibal Myth

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