Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Talking of Hypocrites...

Paul at The Fundy Post has written about Bridget Saunders' latest gossip column in About Town*, in particular a rather alarming piece of tittle tattle that Saunders' shares with her readers:

[Saunders' wrote:] Which very married media presence took a 22-year-old hooker to Asia with him? This is nothing though, compared to the 15-year-old hooker he enjoyed one day while the family were out. (He rang a knock shop and ordered in and when the girly arrived he was concerned at how young she was and asked her age. When she said 15, he first thought, "Oh dear" and then thought "Oh, what the hell, you're here now!")

[Paul comments:] Oh dear. It's all fun and games until someone violates a minor. Or rather, no: it's still fun and games because the story is about a celebrity. It doesn't matter that what he did is illegal and appalling. It doesn't matter that it is illegal for a "knock shop" to employ a girl of 15. Nah, it's all about gossip. Pause for a moment and consider the terms used: hooker – knock shop – girly. Bridget, she was Fifteen. Do you remember when you were Fifteen, about the time your prose style stopped developing? She's not a hooker or a girly, she is a child prostitute – a victim of men, including your very married celebrity.

So what we appear to have here is a Sunday Star Times journalist who is aware of not only illegal under age prostitution, but also someone who has sex with a minor even though he is aware she is under age. But it's not in the News section, it's simply gossip. Why is this? Why isn't this news? Why isn't Saunders' dobbing this "very married media presence" in to the cops, rather than protecting him and belittling the crime he has committed?

Paul also points out that in the same column Saunders also defends Philip Sturm (found guilty of several counts of sexual violation of men). Are famous people (or the friends of famous people) somehow unable to commit crimes of a sexual nature?

In her typical I-know,-you-don't,-and-I'm-not-telling style, Saunders asked her readers:
Who is the biggest hypocrite the New Zealand Media has ever known?
May I humbly suggest that calling yourself a journalist yet treating major news stories, such as under age prostitution and sex with a minor, as mere gossip has a certain stench of hypocrisy to it?

* Part of that frequent source of irritation for The Ex-Expat, The Sunday Star Times.


Anonymous said...

I am appalled but not surprised by this. I occasinally read the Sunday Star Times at cafes as I refuse to give them my money. Everytime I see their "Shoe of the week" thing I get so angry

Idiot/Savant said...

Well, she might just be making it up, and have a rather distorted sense of what makes for an "amusing" story. But if there's the slightest hint of truth behind it, she should be going to the police and naming names. Otherwise, she's covering for a child rapist - and that makes her little better than one herself.

Julie said...

It did occur to me that she may have made it up, but I don't know that that makes it much better, except that she wouldn't actually be covering for a child rapist, just pretending to cover for a child rapist.

I totally agree about the "Shoe of the Week" aaml.

Anonymous said...

I once dated a seventeen year old girl who was half my age at the time. It only lasted six months, and we are still friends a decade later and she is fine young woman. I used not care who knew this until one day I read in a gossip column (not Ms. Saunders) that "a local wxyz" had a penchant for young girls.

Such is the basis of what you read in our "gossip" columns.

Psycho Milt said...

What's wrong with Shoe of the Week? Some of us like shoes. Admittedly, I'm unlikely to ever purchase any of their shoes of the week, because they're always women's shoes... er, right, got it - carry on.