Tuesday 30 October 2007

The philistines pillaging discretion

The denuding of Shimon

I was saddened as I queued up to board my flight to Stockholm this morning when CNN flashed the news of Shimon Peres the President of Israel dozing off during an interview.

It showed the depths to which we have sunk to in the quest for sensation rather than decent news that people felt showing the Grand Old Man of Israel in such a state of human frailty was worthy of publicity.

Pandering to indignity has become the ratings, interviewing the President and hearing what he had to say before he nodded off or what he would have said when he came to was not more significant, they had a better news story, an opportunity to laugh at an old man – the man is 84 for crying out loud.

Boring people and meetings

I have attended meetings where I have dozed off and sometimes maybe snored and I cannot count how many times those meetings have bored me stiffer than an Egyptian mummy – surely, a man of Shimon Peres’ stature should have been treated with a greater modicum of respect, honour and discretion.

That interviewer should have a career that has reached a dead-end from today, she can interview frogs for all I care, and maybe a croak or two might convey something worthy of contemplation.

They know no discretion

Discretion is a rare virtue nowadays and that was depicted in the CBS’ 60-minutes interview of President Sarkozy of France – he is the president and when a president attends an interview, I doubt if what he wants to talk about is his pending divorce.

The interviewer could not resist the urge to be pointedly indiscreet after he said; he would not use that forum to talk about his wife. When she went on to say that people want to know what was going on, I could only commend the President for terminating the interview, there and then – if the people who want to see the interview are the “Hello”, National Enquirer or trashy tabloid crowd looking for salacious gossip, he had better things to do – and rightly so – Nicolas.

Nosing around my piss

So the star of Formula 1 who was so mismanaged by his team that they lost both the constructor and driver championships wants to leave the UK for Switzerland where he can go for a pee and not have people waiting at the door for urinary autographs – the insatiable appetite of the press for stories that make elevate gossip to sewer news can really drive people to distraction and drive them away from home.

The Diana inquest shows that lessons have not been learnt that feeding idle minds with celebrity tripe does nothing to improve society rather, the self-same golden goose might be killed – unfortunately, the chase is for the moment - forget posterity.

The royal prerogative

One could commiserate with John Simpson when he could not get King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia to talk about Iraq or Iran; well people have every right to feel so strongly about a situation that they would keep their counsel, just in case their utterances complicate situations – but the revelation that Saudis provided no matter how trivial the information about the London bombing and felt it was dismissed by the British is a grievance enough to air.

The candour of the king was evident when he said to John Simpson that he did not want to be evasive or dishonest.

My final bouquet goes to the unnamed (now named in Australia) “minor” royal who the Queen is quite fond of who has refused to be blackmailed but called on resources that allowed the dirty blackmailers to be nabbed and charged.

Submitting to the first blackmail attempt is a slippery slope that has you beholding to circumstances that would always be out of your control; come clean quick and you will never be cleaned out.

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