Thursday, September 21, 2006
The world is rotten with issues. Richard Hammond is badly injured in a dragster stunt for Top Gear. Following, as it does, Steve Irwin's death, this becomes an 'issue' about the safety of TV presenters. Meanwhile, Kate Moss becomes a model for Topshop. This is an issue because of her 'alleged' cocaine problems. Grownups know neither of these are real issues. The whole point of Hammond's Top Gear stunts is that they were frequently dangerous. It is what the audience wants. Hedging them about with health and safety concerns to the point where they are absolutely safe makes them, in essence, fake. (I note, incidentally, that the policemen who killed Jean Charles de Menezes have been charged under health and safety laws. This, being warped, I find funny.) Equally, anybody employing any model knows there is a very good chance he/she will have encountered illegal substances. But news schedules demand that there is always more to be said, that there is 'a debate'. No, there isn't. There is only the clamour of hacks filling space and still further enervating their audience.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 6:55 am