This will be a short blog post raising a point about certain, specific coverage of a certain, specific situation, yet has relevance in a wider context as the what both the media see as newsworthy, and what the media thinks the public sees as newsworthy. And in turn, what how I perceive these perceptions, disagree with them, and then try to raise a hopefully valid point that will cause agreement hums of around 1.2 on the richter scale. Agreed? OK, let’s begin.
Watch this video.
And read this story from the BBC.
“A so called ‘polite robber’, has been filmed on CCTV holding up a petrol station in Seattle.
The robber, who appears to be armed with a gun, asks the cashier, “Could you do me a favour? Empty the till for me please and put it right here. I am robbing you sir.”
A man is currently being questioned about the offence by the police.”
Can you see some misplaced priorities here?
Of course you can, because you’re not an unfeeling zombie of a journalist out to create a story suitable for liking and linking and tweeting and lolling.
You’re a compassionate human being who, though of course entirely unaware of the full situation, can at least begin to not only observe, but perhaps even comprehend, the desperation of this frail, pathetic man, who, in his own words, has children to feed.
You may notice his unusual manner in approaching the situation – in that his words and tone are not aggressive, and he engages in some amount of pleasantries whilst he takes part in an action during the course of which every shake and stutter he makes indicates he regrets to the the fullest.
This is not ‘politeness’ though. What the BBC have done is, like a fly, vomited on a situation of some substance, to dissolve it down to a pathetic, but digestable, lump of laughable shit.
What would be the point in expanding the article to remark upon an awful situation that represents the human impact of wealth inequality and the horror of mass unemployment in a country where ‘social welfare’ makes half its population’s blood run cold with the thought that everyone has the most basic of rights to food, shelter and healthcare.
No, let’s keep our words short and free of empathy or relevance, and create some hilarious internet meme, where everyone can laugh about how nice that old man was, as he probably awaits sentence to spend time being polite in some miserable jail while his family carry on in poverty.
He was funny when he forced those words about feeding his children from his terrified mouth though? Wasn’t he?