As there appears to be little to say ‘different’ on a daily basis, let’s just pause the daily updates on the 100-Day Challenge and get back to philosophisin’.
What do you call it when a person of power constantly picks at and picks on a person whose ability to reply is compromised? I believe in the world of work, school and society they call this bullying.
Now, when the person of power is the press or a comedian, and the person they are picking on is a politician, celebrity or athlete, you might be forgiven for saying it is different, because the politician (etc.) has power. I, on the other hand, disagree – conditionally.
First of all, I am not talking about reasonable criticism or analysis. That’s fair comment by any party. However, when the ‘criticism’ gets personal (appearance, language, verbal slips), or uses abusive language (idiot, idiocy, fool, disgusting, stupid, etc.), or is unendingly repetitive – then a line has been crossed.
The reason I say this is because the politician (etc.) has no right of equivalent reply, because the second they respond using the same kind of language they get attacked for that, as well. It is ‘unseemly’ or (the latest one) ‘unpresidential’. And no media outlet ever accepted they were wrong when they were wrong, in the history of ever. They just do it a bit more.
A bit like that bully who kept picking on you at school. The more you cried, the harder they hit. That is why I believe some press coverage amounts to bullying. From all sides and towards most politicians.
Poor old Diane Abbott made a right noodle of herself over policing costs, and the bullying went on for days. Part of that is because every different media outlet to which she spoke afterwards covered it, but in my view, they (a) asked the questions again and again and again and (b) weren’t remotely interested in her answer. I do not like the woman or her politics, but what the media did – and then those so-called liberal comedians who espouse ‘fairness and tolerance for all’, did – was to bully her.
And I have to ask whether that kind of bullying is made easier because we like it. We like it because the person being bullied is someone who we dislike or don’t agree with. Or we like it because they have money and we don’t, or they want our money and we don’t want to provide it. In sports, it’s because they aren’t ‘our’ team and therefore it’s okay to be nasty. Or we like it because it isn’t us.
In the final analysis, too many of us – and far too many so-called journalists – are just flipping kids.