The reaction to last week’s tragic passing of a nurse over a hoax phone call shows how hysteria and cynicism in new and old media fuel each other.
Having created villains, in this case the two hapless Sydney radio hosts, the mainstream media creates a moral outrage to stir up the mob which in turn generates more headlines.
As with the Hillsborough tragedy, this allows those in positions of responsibility the opportunity to avoid scrutiny and accountability.
In this case we see the hospital management demanding action being taken against the Sydney duo while conveniently ducking questions about why poorly paid nurses are expected to act as switchboard operators on top of their already considerable responsibilities.
Now we’re seeing calls to make practical jokes illegal – no doubt there’ll be a wave of teenage boys being prosecuted for making prank phone calls when panicked politicians pass poorly drafted laws to deal with the ‘problem’.
Our taxes at work.
Your mission in life is to use your brain and not to be one of the torch bearing mob.
If it’s you the mob are looking for, then it’s best to lie low until another headline or something shiny distracts them.