Monday, 28 March 2011

Current Affairs - Exclusive!!!! Keeping Society Stupid

Here we go...... Current Affairs programs struggle with their own propaganda - telling themselves that they are good and decent and concerned only with making society a better place. Only problem is that doesn't rate well and lets face it as much as they believe their own hype it's all about getting viewers AT ALL COSTS. Sure they occasionaly do some good things exposing con man and shonky deals but does the rest of the damaging misbeliefs, propaganda and mistruths make up for all of that - absolutely not. Let me explain. Ever since the Paxtons incident many years ago i stopped watching curre.nt affairs shows, that whole episode highlights how a big TV organisation and a whole lot of really smart journalists can manipulate one innocent family. Could the Paxtons kids have gone out and gotten work, yes of course they can, was ACA interested in helping them find work, hell no. Finding them actual jobs would have killed the story. Then they take a strugglng resort in desperate need for publicity and further exploit these kids who had no real knowledge of how they were being pushed and pulled for the holy grail - Ratings. Take the recent bully story for example. Interview with Casey, the hero in all this, everyone was going to watch and it was always going to come off well for Casey. But the interview with the bully, that was never going to come off other than one way, badly for the bully. His parents should never ever have allowed him to be interviewed. The publics minds were made up about Ritchard, they weren't about to be changed, however TV shows like ACA and TT are experts at convincing people why they should get in front of the camera and tell their side of the story. But did it make a good story, YES, did lots of people watch, YES, did their advertising rates go up because of their increased audiences, YES. What's the purpose of these shows, to sell advertising and make money, but to what expense - any. Let me give you another example - ACA often uses their real estate expert, Neil Jenman, the do gooder of the real estate industry or so he is protrayed. Let me give you a clear picture of who Neil Jenman is. Neil created the Jenman system, essentially a franchise like bakers delight or subway except for real estate. Neil created such fictional classics as Common Mistakes Home Sellers Make, with outstanding facts like, don't list your home with an agent who wears a nice watch... etc.. Neil earnt a portion of the commission of every sale from people who sold using the Jenman System... his entier ethos is to direct people to him Jenman System agents from which he earns a commission however shows like ACA use Neil to comment on the industry so he can target his competition and why do they use Neil, because he make controversial statements that generate negative feeling towards the real estate industry ... it's like getting comments from the CEO of Holden about the motor car industry and he explains why all cars except holdens are rubbish... But he's their indepentant industry expert.... Can anyone spell conflict of interest. My one experience with the media in any form was about 4 years ago. We had two dogs, Mojo and Chilli, Chilli was still a puppy but he was a deadshit, no really he was asw dumb as bat sht and just couldn't learnt the simplist of commands. One day when walking the dogs at 5am I let them off the lead and Chilli spotted a couple wth a germah shepherd and a doberman. Lets just say it didn't end well for Chilli. See the horrific nature of his death really effected me... I was deeply effected and had trouble dealing with it and found solice in writing my feelings and emotions out. I wrote to the local paper. A journalist phoned me and wanted to do a story. During the interview I commented that I felt that dogs like that, in teh context of what I was saying was dogs that for whom will attack and kill another dog at will should not be roaming around a park without a lead. It was reported in teh paper that i said that dogs like that german shepherds should not be allowed. Subsequently receiving threatening calls at home. When I rang the jounalist the editor had editted the story that way... really they deliberately misquoted me whilst using my name because it read better. Imagine how easy it is for news and current affairs shows to manipulate people and facts for their own purposes. In my opinion the good things that current affairs show do exposing con artists etc.. just make a show called Con artists or something..... Current affairs shows appeal to the lowest common denominator and unfortunately Australians generally operate on the lowest common denominator. Current affairs shows keep a dumd society dumb. They operate on a level where the truth is what they want it to be. You can be garuanteed that every thrid week there's a plastic surgery or breast cancer story just so they can show breasts on tele, every three weeks there's a weight loss story and so on and so on.. Good news and great stories just simply don't rate like drama and scandal does. I think that in the end I want to give society more credit.. I want to believe that people aren't that nieve that they can see through the smoke and mirrors, i want to believe that people can think for themselves, I want to believe that people want to see both sides of a story in an impartial manner, but i'm kidding myself what a shame that the chase for more viewers and the almighty advertising dollar can get in the way of facts, integrity, ethics all get in the way of a g0ood story... lets face it, if you increase the intelligence of your audience then current affairs programs won't get away with the crap they produce... it's in the interest of the programs to keep society dumb and dumber. For a great laugh and a real true look behind the scenes of a current affairs program, pick up a copy of the Frontline series, one of the countries best and funniest TV series ever.


  1. just like Richard and Chilli....Current Affairs aint going to come out any other way but badly in our blog...:)

  2. Jenman is a tough topic for me. I agree that whileever he has a massive commercial conflict of interest, placing him as the resident expert is retarded (they do it with Commonwealth Bank finance experts too ya know). But although his reasons might now be about promoting his own business, he opened up the industry to get consumers better rights (in theory). Before he started motivating homeowners, we just handed the agent the keys and never even thought to question what was going on; a bit like patients in the 1950s, we couldn't possibly know anything, trust the good doctor, he knows what he's doing!

    I've read quite a bit about Jenman and his haters, and it seems to me that what agents hate the most is nosy consumers expecting to have input into the sale of their homes. It might be true that you guys know TONS more than us... but it's our life savings we're talking about. Of course we want to ask pushy and annoying questions. And of course we want to get some reassurance of how you'll look after our extremely expensive "baby" and we feel like we should have a say. And we're paying for this, so shouldn't we know what we're paying for?

    I sold my home not long ago and also remember when I bought it. Being overseas, I couldn't have much input for the sale. BUT, body count: BAD: one ridiculously unprofessional agent, one agent who couldn't spell and highlighted the fact my house was SMALL in their ad, one cranky lazy bitch solicitor, one useless space cadet conveyancer, one idiot bank (plus associated staff), one RETARDED bank, and then there's the fact that my parents each had to kick a few butts into action. GOOD: One lovely agent that chased all these idiots well beyond her job description, one excellent vendor (dept of housing!!!).

    Now it was a small country town so I didn't have much choice. But if I could... hell yes I would have been asking probing questions. I would have been a consumer from hell.

    But it's kinda our right. You want to watch that chick make your sandwich because she might spit in it... I wanna know how you sell my house. Ya know?

  3. I see your point however Neil Jenman is a walking talking controdiction. Neil was a failing agent and developed his system which is very much like religion. Neil's theories are truly nothing more that scare tactics, use another agent and bad things will happens, it's really you'll burn in hell type stuff.
    Don't get me wrong there are plenty of dunces in our industry and unfortunately it's not hard to become an agent.However there are more hardworking agents with integrity than you think. You just have to find them, those of us who respect the industry and the trade have an enormous amount of respect for the trust and value people eput in our hands. I've literally changed peoples lives, it's an amazing job I've sold homes for people who were desperate to sell and in financial trouble, I've sold homes for people for tens of thousands more than they expected. The trouble is finding the good ones through all teh dead wood out there.

    However although at the coal face there are many I will give you just one Neil Jenman story, which should sum things up as most of the true stories from people like me with real experiences from them don't get written about because we don't have the ime or inclination... bugger it i'll give you two.. Neil's system only employs new agents who own a home and have zero sales experience... Think about that for a second - own their own home - mortgage = balls to teh wall they'll work 12 hours a day because they have to - zero sales experience, selling homes is all about negotiations and negotiations skills yet he wants people with zero negitiation experience and skill. Doesn't make sense.

    Neil's 12 point guarantee - if we break any of these you pay no commission - 10 points are state legislation that every agent in the entire industry are bound by. I had a client who was with a Jenman agent - had the guarantee - one of them was 'if another agents sells the home for more you pay no commission' - the company couldn't sell the home and I sold it to a buyer who had agreed to purchase with the other company at a price but changed their mind and the owners ended up listing with me and the buyer came back and I got them to pay more than was agreed earlier. They put their hand out for commission - the response from Jenman head quarters down in Melbourne was 'sorry but that agent uses the jenman system and jenman material which we sell to them but they aren't accreddited as a jenman agent therefore the guarantee is worthless' I personally forfietted my whole commission to save the owners a legal battle - because they had been put through ringer and already had legal letter from the jenman agents solicitors demanding money from the sale.

    Believe me Neil, at the coal face, has done nothing for the industry and peoples rights. I've worked in areas that have jenman agents and others that don't and you know what the industry doesn't change but when you see a property achieve over $100,000 above the reserve price at auction how can you honestly put your hand on your heart and say - hey you shouldn't have gone to auction.

    There's good and bad in the real estate industry - unfortunately more bad than good - but the good are great and although they can be hard to find they are out there.

    Neil's just an evangalist - truly don't believe the hype - his franchise offices got to 604 nationally - 123 accredditted the rest just using his material that was in the end worthless - now their numbers have dwindled and he's sold the franchise and cashed out before there was nothing left.

    His principles are legislation and we are all goverened by them. And in theory we should all act and behave under them with integrity and honesty - unfortunately those that don't allowed Neil to find a niche and make millions out of it - it was all for the money that i can guarantee you

  4. It's fascinating to read what you wrote, thank you! And don't worry, I'd no sooner actually go with a Jenman agent than I'd sell my soul to Amway. His website reeks (I'll grant you that!), anyone with half a brain can smell the hard sell and the snake oil. Man what sort of pig does what that fake agent did to your customer... but you know what, the thing that got me was how open-ended the sale contract is. There aint much to stop an unscrupulous agent signing me up for useless advertising and then paying their own advertising company horribly high fees for it (which get charged to me). I spent a lot of time understanding the contract and I asked about likely amounts involved - too many owners haven't a clue that they should be asking these questions. Too many of them wouldn't know what on earth that contract is babbling on about, and they still sign it!

    You are right he found his niche. He struck a chord with people who felt powerless. The reason people don't trust agents as a group is that they are never only serving the vendor's interests, but their own. There aren't many other industries where someone can make money by selling an item for *LESS* than it's worth and the faster (and cheaper) they sell it for, the more money they might make ;)

  5. here's a tip for friends and family - my agency offers a 'comfort clause' ie: 48hour get out clause, states that if you are unhappy with our services at any point in time you can sack us regardles of how long the agency agreement is.
    Insist on one when selling with an agent, any agent worth his salt would be so confident you'll be delighted with their service they'd have no quams giving you one, if they won't you'd have to ask why, what are they affriad of.

    the sad part of our industry is that it's a horrible cycle... lets face it it's run by greed, the Owner wants a buyer to pay too much, a buyers wants to get it cheap and rip thhe owner off and the agent just want to gets paid.

    Whilst that's not entirely true there's truth in it. Honesty is hard to find from agents, owners and buyers. it's sad because there are plenty of crappy agents out there... buyers lie to you constantly and so do owners.... which is why relationships are so important.. at the end of the day it's all about trust... and trust is earnt not gained..

    goes back to the golden rule... do unto others....

  6. True true true! Sounds like an awesome offer you give to your customers, thanks for the tip (& the discussion!).