Tuesday 18 December 2018

Airing dirty linen in public

helps nobody. I don't want to know about the latest "scandal" which has appeared on the front page of today's paper.
If it is true then it is wrong and the MP in question needs to be dealt with  quickly and firmly. Then the matter should be left alone. We don't need the salacious details. 
My guess is that it will be brought up again...and again. The media will make much of it. They will have no interest in the damage that it might do his family. What they will say is "well he brought it on himself, on his family, on his party, on the government, on his country". 
Up to a point that is true but it doesn't take into account that all humans have weaknesses, that there may be other things which have contributed to the problem - including the nature of the job.
The media will report what is convenient for them to report and they will embroider the story as much as they dare. How much can they get away with will be the question they will be asking themselves. They know it will sell if they can make it sound "interesting" enough. Accuracy in a story like this won't matter. It's what people are told first that matters. That is what sticks.
Years ago I went out for an evening with a married man. I know that sounds dreadful and some people were shocked. What happened was quite different from the way it sounds. I was close friends with the couple, both now deceased. The wife had gone to PNG to stay with her son while her daughter-in-law was in hospital with the second child. 
One morning I had a phone call from PNG.
     "Cat this is P....  B.... wants to go to the premiere of..... and he needs a partner. He would like to take you with him  but he doesn't feel he can ask you.  I am giving him permission to ask and you permission to accept. Please do it."
Now a long distance call, especially from a place like PNG was almost unheard of back then. Certainly it wasn't normal for something like that. P... was serious. Her son came on the line too and said, "Mum wants you to do it."
B... was an absolute gentleman. I accepted the invitation. We had a lovely evening together and the "arty" crowd thought nothing of it. Several  people I knew were shocked and claimed I should not have accepted the invitation even though P... had asked me to do it. One person refused to speak to me again - which says more about them than me I hope. I can imagine the media now though, "B.... seen with..." and so on. Even P.... telling them would make no difference.  That part probably would not get reported. It would spoil the story.
That may not be true of the present case but we still don't need to know the alleged details. They are none of our business. 
What is more the media is not being even handed in all this. They could but won't report another alleged matter with much more serious implications for the opposing side.
Airing dirty linen is fine it seems - as long as it is not your own.

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