Snort, Distort

23 March 2009

As I've said before, we've veered into hysteria when it comes to child protection. Well, here we go again...

...A friend of mine is a primary school teacher, and was recently involved in an incident where two girls in his late-primary class reported an attempted abuction; claiming a man in a white van had called to them in the playground, telling them to get in. There were doubts over the story from the first, and it transpired that the white van was a government worker on legitimate business in the area. No attempted abduction.

But naturally the school reported the incident to the police immediatley, and then the frenzy began. Parents descended on the school, verbalising teachers for not keeping their children safe. The children became hysterical, each reporting their own white van horror story.

All this is understandable, but then the media circus started. The story caused a local frenzy, including detailed descriptions of the suspected abductor, venues, the van...none of which was ever reported to police (mostly because it never happened, and the children involved did not report these details). My friend was gobsmacked, asking "Where on Earth are they getting this stuff from?". But he was unable to contact the media to refute the stories to report the inaccuracies, in order to protect his own privacy (the same reason I can't elaborate anymore on the details here).

We all knew this stuff already - how the media distorts and just plain makes stuff up to get a story. But to see it second hand is an eye opener. (I am kind of disappointed that those Pauline Hanson photos are fakes).


  1. i don't think they're fake. i think they're real, and since no one can prove they're real, they're forced to 'admit' they're fake or face legal action.

    but since i'm not a newspaper, i can say what i want. so neh :)

  2. Did you see Media Watch last night, I think it puts the matter to rest.


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