Well, I’ll be dammed like the Three Gorges, there’s something in the water.
Surely there can be no other explanation: another columnist – Paul Thomas in Saturday’s Herald – taking the flagellation device to his professional coterie. “Spare the rod, spoil the page,” I say.
Loyal readers will know that it was a lonely week ago that I brought to your attention a spate of honest spade=shovel introspection missives from a number of weekend columnists.
First we had Tracey Barnett lamenting the lack of analysis and focus on the horse race aspects of politics – winners and losers, rather than policy dissection – in the work of her colleagues.
Then, both Rosemary McLeod and Deborah Coddington had a go – totally without having read Tracey’s column (unless there’s some sort of “Hubble, bubble, toil and trouble,” clique going on, which I doubt) .
Rosemary was railing against the volume of paper and ink wasted in pursuit of sexlebrity scandals and Deborah basically told Ali Mau to get over herself and accept the flogging that comes with living in the celebrity goldfish bowl. The key is that they all want to talk about various versions of themselves and their fellow columnists.
Deborah warned that journalists are not (always) lapdogs: “We’re not a fluffy dog you can pat – we bite” OUCH.
Tracey described her fellow columnists as “myopic sheep” and Rosemary says that columnists actually ignore the issues that really matter.
Enter stage right Paul Thomas in a column that’s ostensibly about the media circus surrounding the Tiger Woods’ apology fiasco, sexlebrity drama stand-off broohaha:
Actually, journalists aren’t paid to represent the public at all; they’re paid to fill newspapers and air time, to generate a commercial product.