Joe Hildebrand is struck by the gulf between Martin Place’s bloody reality and the usual suspects’ snivel-by-numbers response:
The reality: A gunman wearing a jihadist bandanna seizes hostages in Martin Place and forces them to display a jihadist flag.
The police response: Immediately launch a counter-terrorism operation.
The idiot’s response: Immediately launch a debate about whether it should be referred to as “terrorism”.
The reality: The gunman employs a method and symbolism identical to that employed and advocated by Islamic State.
The Telegraph’s response: A special edition of the newspaper saying an Islamic State operative had launched an attack in Sydney.
The idiot’s response: Abuse the newspaper for linking the gunman to Islamic State.
The reality: The gunman is found to have declared himself a follower of Islamic State and demands an official Islamic State flag.
The authorities’ response: Prepare for a potentially deadly outcome.
The idiot’s response: Start a hashtag.
The reality: The gunman executes two hostages.
The community’s response: A massive outpouring of shock and grief.
The idiot’s response: Accuse the media of overreacting.
The reality: The gunman has a history of violent, abusive and delusional behaviour.
The Prime Minister’s response: To say he was mentally unstable.
The idiot’s response: To say the PM is unfairly stigmatising mentally ill people.
One could link to many sources supporting the above observations, but a single segment on Radio National captures them all. Listen as compere Richard Aedy and guest Mel Campbell, a specialist in the relationship between diet and fashion, dissect what is wrong with the popular press as observed from Ultimo, Southbank and other inner-urban sanctuaries of the terminally precious.