Irony alert- A bloody long rant about bloody journalists.
by B Thornton- Harwood
This week came the news that Jacintha Saldanha, 46, tragically committed suicide after transferring a “hoax call” about the Duchess of Cambridge’s pregnancy.
I want to take this back to the beginning of what is undeniably an awful story but one that I believe has been blown completely out of proportion and has now been moved completely out of context.
The beginning- Kate is pregnant! Hurrah, congrats on the sprog growing in ya belly, all the best. But admitted to hospital for 3 nights with “acute morning sickness”? That is frankly outrageous. Yes I haven’t been through pregnancy, I wouldn’t know, there’s nothing that compares blah blah blah. Although I did once drink so much Jägermeister I licked a pool table thinking it was a giant blue lollypop and spent the next couple of days unable to keep anything down, without the need to go to hospital for an IV drip.
The fact that the media placed this much attention on a case of morning sickness is frankly laughable but all adds into this sad story.
Next a couple of Aussie DJs- Mel Greig and Michael Christian- call up King Edward VII hospital and put on a preposterous voice supposed to be the Queen in a prank call that would have Bart Simpson in despair. It was rubbish, and yet it got put through. Saying that, if you were in Ms Saldanha’s position, and someone who sounded even remotely like the Queen would you question it? It’s peculiar the things someone one will do for someone they believe to be in a position of authority.
Besides that I believe the word hoax that has been bandied about by the likes of the Daily Mail is a bit much. A “hoax” by definition implies that malice was intended:-
- Something intended to deceive; deliberate trickery intended to gain an advantage
- An act intended to deceive or trick.
- Something that has been established or accepted by fraudulent means.
See. dupery, fraud, fraudulence.
There was not spite of malevolence intended and as such was no more than a prank:-
- A mischievous trick or practical joke. See. Buffoonery, Jape, Clowning
Nothing was found out that would put the realm into danger. There were no real security breaches. No one was angry, or hurt, or upset. Until- once again- the British media arrive to go batshit crazy and fuck everyone’s shit up.
I’ve been working in London all week and so grab the Metro on the tube into town and The Evening Standard on the way back-both are mediocre at best but are free- both of these papers have had Kate or Wills or both on the front page for the entirety of this week until the prank and subsequently the death of Ms Saldanha. Ms Greig and Mr Christian have since been taken off air and are in counselling after being bombarded with statements like “you have blood on your hands!”
The multiple factors including mental stability of a person that leads to suicide is deeply complex, not something I’m particularly well read on, and best left of another day when I’ve done my homework- but I believe the pressure put on her by the tabloids was FAR more damaging to her mental wellbeing than anything these two radio DJs did, or had anticipated doing.
Granted their actions may have played a part in what can only be assumed was the fragile state of Ms Saldanha, but that was never their intention, nor should it be blamed on them. Had the headlines read “Silly Aussie duo in Queen phone jape” we could’ve all had a laugh, Ms Saldanha would’ve become a minor celebrity, had her fifteen minutes, maybe appeared on BBC breakfast to say how funny the whole thing was.
In a post-Leveson Britain you would’ve thought the tabloids might have bucked their act up a bit, but sensationalism is far too easy a way to sell papers. And of course the British public are STOOPID. They believe what they read without question and love to jump on a bandwagon. So write about outrage and you’ll outrage them, make light of a situation and everyone will laugh along. The problem being that outrage sells, and sadly only a small percentage of our population can see the hypocrisy of the press, and that moral panic and indignation make them richer while we blindly go along with it.
And now I believe the same witch-hunt is going on with Ms Greig and Mr Christian, both of whom from all reports are close to breakdowns themselves, who are the press going to blame if, God forbid, they followed suit?
It’s the tabloids with blood on their hands yet all of us are too short sighted to even realise it’s going on.