HELEN BACH COLUMN: The light and dark of TV viewing

There were a couple of jaw-dropping moments on television recently, but for very different reasons, writes Helen Bach.

By Graham Tebbutt (Edited by)
Wednesday, 23rd February 2022, 11:28 am
Updated Wednesday, 23rd February 2022, 11:31 am
Natalie Imbruglia was a winner on ITV's The Masked Singer
Natalie Imbruglia was a winner on ITV's The Masked Singer

Natalie Imbruglia being unmasked as Panda on ITV’s ‘The Masked Singer’ was the first, but in a good way.

I was convinced from the singing voice and the clues that Panda was Amanda Holden, so I couldn’t believe it when Beth, from ‘Neighbours’, appeared when the victor was announced.

She was a thoroughly deserving winner, and Charlotte Church as Mushroom was also brilliant.

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In total contrast, the next night I watched ‘Louis Theroux’s Forbidden America’, and my jaw dropped in a completely different way.

This time in absolute horror at what I was watching.

I would recommend that you watch it for yourselves – in a way everybody needs to know the horrors of the extremist right-wing views bubbling at the fringes of American politics – but I was genuinely shocked by what I saw.

It made for extremely uncomfortable viewing.

Racism, homophobia, sexism, misogyny, to name but a few, were some of the unpalatable discussion points made by these individuals using the internet to promote their beliefs.

Their views are so extreme that they’ve been banned from most social media platforms, but this means that they’re pushed underground... literally the case for the guy broadcasting to his followers from his mom’s basement.

While professing their supposed Christianity, they also say that women should not be allowed to vote or work.

It was unbelievable to hear opinions like this being openly espoused, and what was even more frightening is that these young white men are gathering supporters and are convinced that one day they’ll run the USA.

Louis Theroux is always calm, even in the face of extreme provocation, and lets these people talk and expose themselves for what they are.

This documentary will hopefully serve as a warning for yet another thing we don’t want importing here from across the Atlantic.

Among the bleakness, a brief moment of humour was supplied by a missing comma in stickers emblazoned with the slogan ‘America First B*tch’, highlighting (once again) the importance of good grammar and punctuation.