Saturday, July 21, 2007

The David Mark Show!



N.B: The piece was a bit longer when I spent it, and of course my editor had to cut it down for space: but it made me look so much angrier! Ah well, I wrote it didn't I? Enjoy!

The David Mark Show!
By Chude Jideonwo, Airtime, Thisday 07.20.2007


It is understandable that, following the live transmission of the Third Term (they called it constitution review), Ken Nnamani turned out to be a hero: easily the most popular television personality at the time, whether by default or not. Before him, Justice Chukwudi Oputa had been the darling of the airwaves as he lorded it over the lawyers and witnesses at the delightful Oputa Panel, albeit with admirable charm. So, Mark wanted his day in the sun? Not so tall an ambition actually, er except for one little problem. Actually, there are two problems. First, the Senate President doesn’t have that star quality, which both Oputa and Nnamani were blessed with, even without knowing it. That combination of wit and charm is what TV producers call the X Factor. Actually, depth also helps. All of which our dear Senate President appeared to lack.

Indeed, with his village-square style of moderation, he came off looking jaded, obsolete, almost clownish, uninspired and ultimately uninspiring. Apart from that, television as a medium thrives on content. Put simply, there has to be a point to what it is you expect people to watch. With Ken Nnamani, it was very possible to revel in the personality of the Senate President whose candour was inspiring, refreshing and engaging all at the same time, added to the fact that we were being thoroughly educated as to the groundswell of issues surrounding the tenure elongation agenda, apart from being thoroughly informed about the groundswell of disgust at the prospects of a continued Obasanjo presidency. There was a point to it, there was something that viewers wanted to see. That’s the worldview Airtime keeps trying to communicate to producers: it’s not just about wanting to come on television - what do you have to put on? Television is supposed to inform, educate, entertain and since Oprah came on, it now has a fourth function- inspire.

The ministerial screening had the potential to incorporate all these elements to achieve good TV. But it turned out a failure. A bad TV show. Information? Education? Absent. Since the Senators had reasons as puerile as hunger (hunger!) for their failure to ask intelligent questions of the nominees. A female nominee, someone who might end up heading a sensitive Ministry was told to “bow and go”, simply because the senators were hungry! Add that to Senators standing up to vouch for nominees with such helpful detail as “she is a calm person” “he is the secretary of our great party, the largest party in Africa” if not the whole world, or “I have worked under her for many years” and “if she has raised four children, then she can hold a ministry”.

And as far as PR value goes, these guys would have been better off assigning the brief to the Buhari Campaign Organisation, believe me. The David Mark Show was horrible TV. It came off like we had assembled a cast for BBC Hard Talk, and instead we were confronted with Saturday Night Live. If I was Executive Producer of this show, and the national assembly was my cast I would fire the lot.

15 comments:

Idemili said...

Wow. People don't get killed for that stuff in Nigeria any more?

Anonymous said...

ooohhh i just fell in love with you for this!!!!

sharon said...

hey chude! i agree with you on this one as always.
ol' boy how are you preparing for the bar finals? you sound so calm, i wonder, i really wonder....... anyways all the best

Chude! said...

@ide,
evidently they still do. just not moi (wink)

@anon,
what have you been waiting for?!Lol

@sharon
thanks! b4 i tell you how i am preparing, now what exactly do you wonder at: you have to tell me ... tell me pls!!

ababoypart2 said...

I saw all off 4 minutes of the 'David Mark' show on BEN TV. Not enough time to form an opinion, but enough to agree with you

Mrs Somebody said...

Chude will you be at Terra Culture on Sunday to watch the play?

Chude! said...

@ababoy,
it even gets worse - lucky you! how u dey?

@mrs,
Long time. Very sadly, not. stuck in abuja - getting ready for this blighted exams! what's up???

NIGERIA POLITRICKS said...

This is politics at it's worst.
For someone who has a great admiration for seasoned politicians in the U.S. having a sound, educated, issue based discourse in the House and Congress, I am appalled at the David Mark's show.
The Nigerian house of senators should be converted into a beer parlour where these bunch of uneducated buffoons can sit, carry-on with their lack lustre, do-nothing attitude with goat meat pepper soup and a horde of hookers on the side.
The ministerial confirmation process was a lame ass charade, the list of ministers was a testament of nepotism at it's worst and the senators language of endorsement of the nominees was bordeline insane and ludicrous.
I am ashamed of Nigeria!

Lola said...

that's why i skipped the tv version and just read the papers. transcripts have a way of not annoying you as much as watching it would have.

how, really, can an endorsement be "she raised four kids" what the hell is that?!?! so? should be the first question of any right thinking person.

Chude! said...

my broda,
i feel you!

Lola,
It leaves me stunned still!!

Mrs Somebody said...

Good Luck on your Exams.I wish you all the best.

Jaja said...

True..
all the best for those exams
Lawyer!

Chude! said...

@mrs,
thanks a lot. Need it!

@jaja,
thanks man!!

Ifreke said...

Here I was thinking I had dropped comments here but all of a sudden the harsh conspiracy has dawned on me as it is nowhere in sight.

Basically,the David Mark Show in one word was bizarre and I couldnt wait for it to go off air..Thankfully,it is off..

Chude,where u dey?The time to update is here...lol

Naija guru said...

LMAO, I'd pay to be able to be entertained in the Naija house of assembly for a few hrs!!
Nice article, I like it