Perhaps it’s just me, but nowadays when I put on the TV I find increasingly that the line between what is and what is not news has become so blurred that no end of trivia finds itself on the news. Do I really need to know about the latest slanket craze?
Take yesterday for example. Flashing on every screen were images of Nigella Lawson with the caption: “Nigella Lawson admits taking cocaine.”
NOT NEWS I wanted to shout out in exasperation. That is a private matter. Or a matter for the police. Whatever the case, it is not something that I or anyone else in Britain or the world needs to know.
If anything in Nigella Lawson’s experience is in the public’s interest to know then it’s certainly not her cocaine use. Instead, why couldn’t the press focus on the domestic abuse she has been submitted to instead. Why is that only a footnote?
After all, that is the cause behind her recourse to drugs or at least so she claimed yesterday when she told a jury that “acts of intimate terrorism” by her “brutal” ex-husband, Charles Saatchi, drove her to cocaine and cannabis use.
This is the image of Charles Saatchi throttling Nigella Lawson outside Scott’s restaurant in Mayfair in June. He accepted a police caution for assault, but afterwards “menaced” her with threats of drug allegations and went through with the threat by publishing those allegations on an internet site.
The Isleworth Crown Court in west London had its share of the action on that front when Miss Lawson declared that Mr Saatchi was trying to “destroy” her by making public her drug use after his “menaces” failed to force her to return to him.
Her allegations appear justified by the fact that she was asked to be a witness for the prosecution on a fraud trial and instead finds herself under the limelight for events that have absolutely nothing to do with that trial.
This is what she said herself when asked to explain why she was reluctant to give evidence for the prosecution in this case: “I felt that this would not become a fraud case, I would be put on trial and actually that’s what has happened. I have been put on trial here, where I am bound to answer the allegations and it comes after a long summer of bullying and abuse and I find it just like another chapter in that.”
It looks like she was right to fear it since it is her and not the trial that makes the news.
How about this as front page news instead?
Did you know that the NSA gathers 5 billion cell phone records daily? Or that there is a staggering location-tracking program implemented without any public debate, and a substantial number of Americans are having their movements recorded by the government?
Did you know that there are sectarian clashes in the Central African Republic and that the French are gearing up for a major intervention? Or, that after an attack on Yemen’s defence ministry compound in the capital Sana’a on Thursday morning, at least 20 people were killed?
Also, did you hear that Egypt’s new laws curtailing the right to protest have already led to the arrest of top political activists and is a major threat to democratic freedom?
To me at least, this is news. Nigella’s dalliances with drugs, on the other hand…
Perhaps Nigella could take a leaf from Benedict Cumberbatch’s books on this and come out of court sporting her own handwritten message.
Oh Vic. We are very much thinking along the same lines today. I am so sick of being fed nonsense that distracts us from the real issues to which we should be paying attention.
Every point you make is SPOT ON.
Thank you! I am so pleased that I’m not alone on this. Most of the time I just ignore it, but it really got to me today.
Over here we had endless commentary and pictures on the 50th anniversary of JFK’s death while right at that time Syrian conflict was tearing people apart and the typhoon had recently ripped through the Philippines which by comparison were given footnotes. I found it incredible and felt that all perspective had been lost in terms of the proportionate time given to each. Just don’t get me started on all the “celebrity” rubbish. Unreal, but then papers have to sell and real biting issues are just not glamorous enough. My you have got me started – better take Victor back to his cell….🍀
Exactly MM! Thank you. You are so right: a complete loss of perspective. It is one thing when the Tabloid press does it. I never expect anything better from them anyways, but it is the broadsheets and mainstream television that have gone in on the action too. Nowadays there’s hardly any difference whether I open up the Times or Hello magazine. Ok. I exaggerate. Plus, I never open Hello magazine, but you get my point.
There are so many things going on that are really important and the media trivialises them by giving us celebrity news instead.
Strictly Come Dancing? Really?! Don’t take me wrong, I have nothing against the show, but is it really news? I don’t think so.
Phew, I thought it was just me sounding like a grumpy old man…….🍀
Well. If that’s the case then I must be a grumpy old man as well 😉
Could not agree with you more…
Thanks, Sean. I’m in good company it would seem 🙂
There are more important matters to fill the news with than the fraud trial of a tv cook’s assistant.
If the press were going to bother reporting on the case at all, perhaps they should have focused on the alleged domestic violence instead of mentioning it as a mere footnote.
It’s sour and sad Vicki, and it’s not just Britain. The sad reality is that these are things the public go for,period! Those of us here gripping are a very low minority. I try to listen to my local T.V news here in Houston, you’ll find they give better news, more of what touches home and individuals;rather than the nonsense the big networks shove down our throats.
That is reassuring, Dotta. It is good to know that there are sections of media that still attempt to keep the news – news, rather than transforming them into a celebrity parody of sorts.
Thank you – great comment, as always 🙂
Well-done. A while back a friend of mine was glued to CNN for several days following the aftermath of an epic oil spill. His wife asked, “It’s been three days! You still worried about that?” Two minutes later she was playing Bomberman on the Game Station. **sigh
Thank you, Frances. Sigh indeed. So many tragedies in the world and so soon forgotten. What does that say about the world? I dread to think of it.
Couldn’t agree more. Feel v much for Nigella and loathe her vile, manipulative control freak of an ex, but this is not and should not be world news, but there is appetite for salacious gossip, fanny flashing ‘celebrities’ and stupid Twitter feuds, and it is up to us to be disciplined enough to ignore this trivia and start asking the questions that count. Great post x
Thank you, sistasertraline. Excellent comment and certainly one I am very much in agreement with.
Vic, for interest’s sake, please contrast Nigella and Toronto’s besieged Mayor Rob Ford. Are there fundamental similarities, differences, etc.
Would it not be better if you did the honours? After all, you are familiar already with the other case.
I’m of two minds on the question, to be honest, which was why I posited the question. One might ascribe a greater seriousness to the Mayor’s case, as he is an elected official, broke the law, lied, etc., etc.
Yet how can it be wrong for the Mayor and not be similarly wrong for Nigella, even with granting that the drug laws might differ somewhat between countries? Is she to be absolved due to her celebrity status? Is her offence less due to her gender?
Don’t know if you’ve had a chance to get to Chapter 4 in my manuscript (or if you’ve even had a chance to peek at the thing };-)> ), but I’ve become very wary of claimed victimhood. I neither believe nor disbelieve Nigella’s version of her story without some independent expert investigation, preferably by a forensic psychologist / psychoanalyst type.
Will have to look into this. 🙂
Apparently some idiot who made films about street racing died in Hollywood street racing with a buddy, wrecked a perfectly beautiful Porsche too the prick!
Didn’t here that one 😉
It’s almost the weekend. Sunday papers are the biggest offenders in the UK when it comes to NOT NEWS lol
There’s a whole ‘Murica out there full of not-news 😉
The only thing I fleetingly wonder is who is Nigella Lawson?
And if she wants to kill brail cells I don’t care until my taxes have to pay for her drooling butt in a detox/psyche ward.
She is a celebrity chef. Very well known in the UK, although she has also been on quite a few US cooking programmes as a celebrity judge. Most foodies know about her. Your taxes are safe 😉
I assure you that as a fan of Iron Chef I have no idea who she is.
Some provincial using cocaine is of no concern… #Sniff…
Focus on domestic violence? Why would they do that?
btw – don’t trip on that huge pile of stuff that’s been swept under the carpet on your way out. 😉
Brilliant comment! Thank you 🙂
Yes. It’s right next to that invisible elephant 😉