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Morbidly Curious… Or just plain sick

30 Oct

This week I was following the Indonesia double disaster and, as usual, felt disgusted by some news outlets cheap tactics of showing dead bodies, with bulging eyes. Completely disrespectful in my point of view.

Not even masses of dead bodies, just images of one, or perhaps a mother carrying their dead child. Who in the right mind wants to see this stuff?

Ok, I shall name and shame. The Sun. I’m sure you had guessed. Not content with showing the ruin to the landscape, like the Guardian, or at a push a mass of cattle corpses (The Mirror), but single dead bodies. Or, helpless people covered in searing ash screaming out in ‘agony’.

The radio barely touched the story. Clearly, we need to see horror to be able to feel empathy.


On Tuesday I took a trip to the Old Bailey to report on a murder investigation. At ‘half time’ an old lady who was sat at the back approached me, in front of the murderers family, and shamelessly said ‘So, I missed the first half… What has happened?’

I took her aside and, quite wrongly, whispered to her in brief what had happened.

‘OOOH! I never!’

She proceeded to ask me loud inappropriate questions, as to which I discovered she had no actual purpose there. She wasn’t content with knowing that there had been a murder, she wanted ALL the gory details.

 She had simply come to the notorious court to watch. Of corse, it would provide some excellent discussion over Wednesday coffee morning with a chocolate bourbon.

We are all guilty of it. Whether you deny it or not, if you hear “They were shouting awful things”, for instance, you want to know exactly what they were shouting.