tip off

Crikey says: if the reports are correct, leave him alone

Paul Barry says the ABC should apologise — but there’s differing opinion. Why Malcolm Turnbull’s rhetoric is music to News Corporation. The word from Tasmania — stand by for a Liberal government. What’s in a political party name? Gary Morgan’s legal fight. Political interference in the arts. And life as a Big Issue vendor.

First Thorpie was in rehab as a drunk. Except he wasn’t. In fact, he had shoulder surgery, we were told. He left hospital and was fine. Then he wasn’t. He was spotted by a nosy cameraman appearing “disoriented” outside his house. Now he’s really in rehab, though for depression rather than alcohol abuse.

Each moment — true or false — was splashed on the front page and led TV news bulletins. The ABC’s venerable AM program led with Ian Thorpe’s struggle this morning.

Even depression support service beyondblue couldn’t help itself. A statement from CEO Kate Carnell began: “If these reports are correct …”

If the reports are correct? It’s still nobody’s business. And you’d think the country’s peak depression body would know better than to riff off media reports that have proven themselves unreliable at best. Carnell goes on:

I know that in the past Ian’s story has inspired other people to take action to get treatment for their own battles, and I hope this morning’s reports have the same effect.”

Certainly, that will be the justification of editors who will insist on documenting every moment. Perhaps it will inspire others who are unwell. Or perhaps it will just sell a newspaper.

5
  • 1
    aliso6
    Posted Tuesday, 4 February 2014 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    agree with Crikey’s editorial comment.

  • 2
    jmendelssohn
    Posted Tuesday, 4 February 2014 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    Well said.

  • 3
    AR
    Posted Tuesday, 4 February 2014 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    I couldn’t understand why AM, of all progs, would run as it did.

  • 4
    CML
    Posted Tuesday, 4 February 2014 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    Isn’t AM now hosted by Chris Ullmann? (I don’t listen to it these days.) If so, enough said! Obviously thinks he is still on 7.30, and we would all like a bit of gossip!!
    Crikey, you got it right this time!

  • 5
    klewso
    Posted Tuesday, 4 February 2014 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    Tabloidisation - the ABC “whoring for ratings”. I don’t understand this current yearning for “relevance” afflicting it.
    You want to stand up, walk around while calling the news? Strain current affairs through your own prejudices - for “edgy”? I reckon you can end up looking like an insecure tart.

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