Oh dear. The Tonight programme has finally lost any semblance of credibility and turned into Brass Eye. Unlike Chris Morris's seminal 90s mockumentary series, however, the issue the unintentionally satirical journalist Mark Jordan purported to shed light on was very real. In the first episode of the two part Cornershops Under Attack (8pm, ITV1, 8 June), Jordan talked to the independent shopkeepers who have "come face to face with the mad, bad and the deadly".

I'm sure it wasn't his intention, but with the help of a bit of dodgy editing he made one poor victim look like a total moron. "You've been punched and your nose broken," barked Jordan. "Yes," said the shopkeeper, inexplicably smiling. "People have robbed you with swords?" "Yes," he responded, still smiling. "You've been held up with a gun." "Yes," grin unwavering." "Do you live in fear behind the counter?"

You can guess the answer and the facial expression. It was only later that we were given some insight into why the shopkeeper had put up with so many attacks - it was for his family, he said simply, not smiling for once. Sadly, the fast and loose editing, banal questioning and needless sensationalism (the shopkeepers' stories were already shocking enough) undermined what would otherwise have been a compelling programme.

You hear the dreadful statistics (and they are dreadful - violent attacks went up 22% in the fourth quarter of 2008), but it's all too easy to forget the people behind them. And what remarkable people you are, risking robbery, racist abuse, being shot at - and even death. No wonder the shopkeeper whose son was taking over after the family store had been destroyed in an arson attack said he felt like he was sending him to Iraq.

On the plus side, the shopkeepers were all trying to tackle the problem and one strategy seemed to work. After being shot at (luckily the bullets were blanks), one shopkeeper installed a cunning "CSI-style" system involving red dye, which amazingly reduced the number of attempted robberies at the store to zero. If only Jordan's part in this documentary had been cut to the same extent.