Sunday, 9 December 2012

Victims Of Media and Celebrity

No one really knows why the nurse who first answered radio prank call died.  What we do know is that in the day or so before she did, the story was wall to wall covereage in the UK's 24 hours news media.  It has continued to be so since.  That media has been keen to stress the role of the prank call itself, and so has the hospital.  What the media have not been so keen to stress is their own role, and the role of celebrity, which the media has created.

Let's look at the facts.  Two minor radio DJ's made a prank call, whose only other attribute in normal times, would have been the very bad imitation of the Queen's voice, which one of them gave.  Such prank calls are common place on such radio stations, and the radio station are quite right, that on any reasonable basis, those that made it could not possibly have beleived that someone might take their own life as a consequence of it.  Indeed, we do not know that anyone has.  We do not know why this nurse died, if it was suicide, or of it was, what the motives behind that were.  After all, she was not the nurse that actually gave out any information, and the nurse that did, has not committed suicide.

In reality, there was no story prior to the nurse's death.  But, the media created one, as part of its own feting and fawning over Kate Middleton.  The reality was that this was a prank call that no one other than a few listeners to a minor Australian radio station would have known about, until the UK media blew it up.  Again, we don't know what role the hospital itself had to play in that.  They could have simply apologised to Kate Middleton for having made a mistake.  There was no reason for a minor personal matter to have been made into world news.

So, why was it?  The real story is that a young woman is pregnant, and suffering with morning sickness.  What is news about that.  Millions of other women are in exactly that same situation, but no one considers it to be in the least of interest, other than themselves, and their immediate family!  This young woman is no different than all these other women.  Not apparently of above intelligence like a female Einstein, or renowned for humanitarianism like a Mother Theresa.  The only reason that she is considered different is because, despite all the talk about "One Nation", or about "All in it Together", that have their roots in the bourgeois idea that under Capitalism we are all equal, clearly we are not.

The other millions of pregnant women, suffering morning sickness are not considered worthy of column inches, and endless droning on TV News Channels, whereas Kate Middleton is, because under Capitalism people are not equal.  She is not equal, because she was lucky enough to have been borne to rich parents, and to marry into Britain's Royal Family, in itself the epitome of Britain's barbaric inequality.  That meant that she was automatically a celebrity, and worthy of becoming headline news even to report normal human bodily functions, at a time when thousands of people in Syria are dying in a Civil War, when thousands are on the streets in Egypt, opposing the growing Dictatorship of the Muslim Brotherhood, and when the Liberal-Tories in Britain, were once again announcing that they intend to heap even more misery on British workers, and on the British economy, simply in order to continue their ideological experiment that once again has been shown not to work, not even in the interests of Capital.

Had all of this media circus over a non-event never have been created, there would probably never have been a prank call, and there would have been no basis for it continuing even if there had.  No one can say whether nurse Jacinda would have died had that not been the case, but it would certainly have meant that she would not have suffered all of the unwanted media attention that was afforded her.

And what about the consequences of that media attention now on the two DJ's.  If all of the furore surrounding the hospital giving out information were responsible for Jacinda's death, who can say that the same might not happen with regards to the two DJ's, or someone closely connected with them, now thrown into the media spotlight?  If that were to happen, who would the media hold to be responsible for that?

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