This is serious – self-destruct season #2

I’m bewildered and saddened. On top of everything else an Australian journalist is now facing up to 20 years in gaol for drug offences in Singapore.

I was a bit shocked by the news about ABC reporter Peter Lloyd. It was a similar feeling of numb “Huh?” that I felt when I first heard/read about Tony Veitch.

What’s going on?

I can’t help thinking – and not for the first time – that journos (we) have a self-destructive streak. Though I’m not really convinced that it is explained by purely psychological causes.

There’s very little information at the moment about Peter’s arrest, but the mention of his  “serious eye condition” makes me wonder.

VETERAN ABC journalist Peter Lloyd has been arrested in Singapore on drug trafficking charges and could face 20 years in a Singapore jail and up to 15 strokes of the cane if found guilty.

The 41-year-old Australian is accused of supplying the drug ice to a Singaporean man.

Mr Lloyd is the ABC’s South Asia correspondent based in New Delhi.

He was in Singapore on leave when he was arrested by officers from Singapore’s Narcotics Bureau.

It is understood that police found a packet of ice weighing approximately 0.8 grams, one improvised smoking pipe and six syringes during a search of the apartment where he was arrested.

“His urine was screened positive for amphetamines, a controlled drug, on the instant urine test machine,” one of the arresting officer’s alleged.

In a statement released a short time ago, ABC News director John Cameron said:  “Peter was in Singapore on leave from his posting in New Delhi.

“The ABC has not been told of the full details of the case, but we were aware that Peter had been undergoing hospital treatment in Singapore for a serious eye condition which he contracted while on leave.

The Australian 18-07-08

What’s interesting is how quickly Peter’s Wikipedia entry was updated :

Another journalistic meltdown? It wouldn’t be the first time.

Who knows?  A small window of opportunity, perhaps,  for Peter’s salvation, at least on the ABC news website:

A statement from Singapore’s Central Narcotics Bureau says the 41-year-old was arrested in the course of a follow-up search after the arrest of another man, a 31-year-old Singaporean.

The glimmer of hope here is that Peter’s arrest was a mistake, he was caught up in something he knew nothing about. i want to make it clear I’m not making excuses here, just speculating. On the other hand…

Is there a serious cultural/social/psychological fissure opening up in the world of journalism and journalists? Is this a zeitgeist issue? Or am I reading too much into a week in which journalists come unstuck in a big way and in close proximity?

Mere coincidence is my bet, for now.

On the other hand, some people think it’s possible to come back from a near (professional) death experience:

18 July 2008
Media commentator Deborah Coddington believes former sports presenter Tony Veitch could work in the media again, after he has done his penance.

The Radio Sport and TVNZ broadcaster has resigned after revealing he lashed out against his former partner Kristin Dunne-Powell. Ms Dunne-Powell has now filed a formal complaint with police.

Ms Coddington says she does not want to condone what Mr Veitch may have done, but she feels sorry for him because the media has been in a frenzy over the story. She believes that if Mr Veitch has the talent, grit and determination, he can come back from this fall from grace, but she believes he needs a lot of help in terms of coping when things get on top of him.

NZ City compile

“Penance”, is that a circle of Hell? (see below). I’m not sure that Ms Coddington’s right about this.

But what would I know. Today I laid a $100 bet with Tim Watkin that if  Dubya doesn’t bomb Iran before Christmas 2008, then Obama will do the deed before Christmas 2009. What’s that about a fool and their money?

“Sonny, if you want it here it is, come and get it…”

I’m serious about this Obama kick. Too many “liberals” have too much faith invested in the Chicago pseudo-serious change merchant. I mentioned to Tim and Eleanor that I think the same missplaced and ultimately faith-based trust was placed in Kevin Rudd last year. in the build-up to the Australian election.

Now look at what’s going on ‘across the ditch, with Kevin. 07’s blessing.  The Pope is the new reality TV star for teenage Australians, their friends from India and Brazil  and their creepy Catholic middle-age male hangers-on. I personally can’t stand it; awful fat f*cks in frocks in their hundreds sitting on an opulent stage bewildering the flock of faithful.

This photo was circulated at work this week. Sorry I can’t acknowledge the photographer, I’m sure it’s only viral. It’s a priceless commentary and probably annoying for the CattleTicks too.

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