Plunder is a hard-hitting documentary that will never be screened by TVNZ or TV3

Sunday, TVNZ's 'flagship' current affairs show, decided that it was of crucial importance to do a story on an American ballet dancer this week. Fortunately RT (Sky 96) screened something a lot more relevant over the weekend and that was the excellent 2009 documentary Plunder: The Crime of Our Time.

In this thoughtful and, yes, entertaining documentary, Emmy-award winning director Danny Schechter interviews bankers, economists, activists and homeowners to lay stark the fraud and corruption that lies at the heart of Wall Street and at the heart of global capitalism.

He lays bare how the denizens of Wall Street have brought the American and global economies to its knees and, in the process, destroyed jobs, lives, communities.

As one website puts it: How do you steal $196 trillion and get away with it? Schechter explains how.

This week our local media thought it was a 'sexy' enough story to devote some coverage to the rogue trader who has allegedly lost UBS over $1.3 billion. But where have been the stories about the Wall Street crooks who have not gone to jail for their crimes? Where are the stories of Wall Street villians walking through the revolving doors and ending up with a brand new job with the Obama administration?

Schechter fires a number of salvos at the corporate media which, he says, has simply become Wall Street's tame poodle. It has been left to a small number of independent journalists, bloggers and activists to tell the stories that the mainstream media won't.

I'm glad that RT has the journalistic integrity to screen documentaries like this but, once again, it highlights what a parlous state our local media is in. What little news and current affairs there is on both TVNZ and TV3 is largely dumbed down infotainment.


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