Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Duncan Storrar sledges News Corp. But the issue is a complex one

Duncan Storrar has broken his silence on his treatment by sections of the mainstream media. Good to know that he is mentally strong enough to issue a statement on this because there were recent reports that he was on suicide watch.

I don't think that there's any doubt that while he's "no angel", he's certainly been a victim in all this, and that commercial media outlets can be heartless and brutal. But it's also clear that the love media played a big part in these events, even though they have not been condemned by Storrar and his supporters. They created a false narrative that News Ltd debunked, after all.

Many people, and not just those on the Left, look at the treatment of Storrar as being exceptionally callous. But it should be remembered that citizens are having embarrassing, unsavoury details of their private lives published in news reports all the time. Actually, that's kinda what news is! Most of those involved find this deeply upsetting. (Unless they're weirdo narcissists, that is. And there are a quite few of those. They're called celebrities.)

And I'm not just referring to the perpetrators of wrongdoing. The victims and their families suffer greatly too. They're trying to move on from traumatic events, often of a violent nature. But they get traumatized all over again when their suffering is detailed in media reports seen, heard and read by millions. And journos right across the political spectrum are rapacious in their quest for relevant details and images to embellish their stories with, often shamelessly plundering Facebook accounts, for example.

So saying that News Ltd should have held off reporting about Storrar's past is a very long bow to draw. Sure, that headline about him being a villain was brutal as. But it pretty much wrote itself after he'd been hailed as a hero by the Q and A luvvies.

The tabloids are a business, let's face it. It's not edifying. But it's a fact. And there's little doubt that a headline like that really got people's attention and resulted in brisk sales.

Attempts at tone policing are inevitably disastrous even in controlled environments like uni campuses. So they're not gonna fly in the hurly burly of the wider world, now are they?

So what can be done to stop episodes like this one occurring again? Next to nothing, I'd say. But you can learn from them. And the lesson I take from the Storrar story and countless others like it is that the mainstream media are like misery farms. They see human lives as wheat, ripping out the grain to make daily bread for the famished masses. You get caught up in that process and you're toast! So, best to stay clear of their threshing machines if you can ...

Needless to say, sometimes you won't be able to. On occasion, events beyond your control will thrust you into the spotlight. That's why you should toughen up regardless. It's a brutal world we live in, far more insecure than in decades past -- and not just when it comes to the media. So becoming "antifragile" is a worthwhile goal for everyone these days IMO.


  1. Duncan Storrar was the patsy for another Q&A stunt. We've become quite accustomed to these and so everyone is naturally skeptical when they come along.
    Maybe the ABC should lift their standards for recruiting sockpuppets.

    1. They're very keen to do this, which is a worry. Anyone with a skeleton or two in his closet should be very careful about submitting a question to ask on the show!

      But I doubt this is the last such media pile on that their ABC initiates.