Friday, September 07, 2007

If news was objective

I think it's telling that the coverage of Andrew Johns has spoken of the negative impact of his drug taking and never once marveled at the fact that he could continue a first-class football career while in the "grip of Ecstasy".

I'm not interested in football of any code but why does not one's consumption of recreational drugs suddenly make them a 'disgrace'. Surely in the parlance of someone's career trajectory, it is the effect of their lifestyle that matters. Lindsay Lohan's drinkfilled psycho driving bouts are scandalous because she gets away with them but, not only that, they are proof that she is unable to perform to the standard of a star who appears in Disney movies. If Johns was flailing about and pointing in the wrong direction with the ball then it's time to yell 'disgrace' (or at least express concern for his behaviour). If not, then the media is failing to do their job properly.

The culture of protest is gaining more currency and was even featured as an episode of Jenny Brockie's Insight. It is almost as in vogue as the environment (which, logically, would transfer to votes for the Greens, but practically does not). But our society is not prepared to examine 'drugs' in this manner or even to stop using that disreputable term (kudos to any program that mentions that alcohol is a drug)
I haven't seen any exploration of the drug ads either. While we are prepared to sneer at public servants being pushed out to speak about the fairness of Work Choices, we don't find it in our collective incredulity to wonder what 'Marijuana - you don't know what it will do to you' means. You could say the same for pork rinds: could make you fat, might just make you thirsty. It's not convincing either way.


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