Like many people, I thought Kim Beasley trying to score political points off the backs of the trapped miners in Beaconsfield was a cheap shot. And the media had a field day with it; what nerve Beasley had, they moralized, how dare he?
But it occurred to me just a day or two later, as I watched Kochie and Mel hosting the Today show on location at the mine entrance, that there’s a fairly large double-standard going on here. The media are capitalizing on this much, much more than Beasley did. Undoubtedly there’s a market for information about the miners, but the jockeying for position and the masses of media that have descended upon tiny Beaconsfield has been nothing short of obscene. In fact, the media in Beaconsfield have become a story of their own; the scene the other day of one woman praying outside the mine entrance pleading with a scrum of at least 20 cameramen and photographers to join her praying – “they don’t need our pictures, they need our prayers!” she sobbed – was stark in its utter ridiculousness.
I mean really – what necessity was there for channel 7 to send these two hosts to Beaconsfield? Isn’t it just about ratings, and ratings about advertising dollars? Then how are they not capitalizing on this in a more obscene way than Beasley?
Maybe the only saving grace of them taking so long to free the miners is thatit’s meant that the media have had to back off a bit, for fear of the public getting bored of the whole story.