I sometimes wonder if I’m cut out for this. The media, I mean. Journalism. I wonder if I’m hard enough for it.
I heard the story today about a wee Haitian orphan baby – 3 months old – who needs life saving surgery on her skull, but the US Military won’t let her leave the country BECAUSE SHE HAS NO PAPERS! The US fucking Military!
This kid is a miracle. Pulled from the rubble, parents missing presumed dead. And now some pencil pushing twat with a national God-complex doesn’t let her get life saving surgery because all records of her existence were destroyed in the worst natural disaster her country has ever known.
Last I heard – and I’m not writing this from a computer so I can’t easily check – the Haitian government were going to step in to get her the surgery. That whole story makes me sad, and angry too. And I don’t know that I can keep that in check.
And then there’s the Campbell/Marr thing.
Honestly. Call me cynical but are we really expected to believe that the most famous spin doctor in the employ of the most successful (if controversial) Prime Minister in generations decides, on an unremarkable February morning, to show the world his human side in an improptu fit of emotion? In an election year? Just as Blair is confirmed as having a major role in the upcoming Labour election campaign? Pull the other one Al; you’re a director, not an actor.
But that’s not what pissed me off about this story. It was the treatment of it by tabloid telly that got under my skin.
I switched on the 24 hour news tonight once the kids went to sleep and the Campbell/Marr story was running, but the focus switched to Gordon Brown. They started talking about how Brown got emotional during interviews when talking about baby Jennifer, his daughter who died at just 11 days old.
They treated it like some sort of big scandal. They used phrases like “it has emerged that Gordon Brown got tearful” – it has EMERGED that he got tearful…well, you know what? I’d be pretty God damned worried if he didn’t!
That kind of newsmaking disgusts me. And I’m not the only one. If that had been the BBC I’d be complaining as a license payer. As it happens BBC News 24 ran the Campbell/Marr story too – no mention of Gordon Brown. Rightly so. That’s why I happily pay my license fee.
The story was on Sky News. Its report was sleazy, and it’s why when new people ask what I’m studying I hesitate a bit before answering.
Now you might want to argue that it’s publicity, an effort to humanise and engender feeling for Gordon Brown before an election. Nah.
Sky News is owned by Rupert Murdoch and he’s thrown his support behind the Conservatives this year. It was a cheap shot, pure and simple. Low-brow tabloid journalism at its sensationalist worst.
I don’t know if I could write stuff like that and have it sit right with me. I sometimes wonder if I’m cut out for this.