Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Afghanistan Letter

Afghanistan is dominating the news right now, casting a long shadow over Downing St. For the second day running Browns "scrawled" letter is across the papers. I'm no fan of Brown, I like him about as much as I would like to get E.coli, yet the behaviour of the press in this instance has been shameful. Using the death of a serviceman and the grief of his family as a stick with which to beat Brown, is journalism at it's worst.

Attacking him and this government over spelling mistakes made by partly blind man feels desperate and so exploitive. It was a stupid mistake, miss managed, I don't believe that even Brown would set out to offend Mrs Janes with intent. With questions over the troops numbers, reasons for being there or equipment, are these not the things the press should be pushing for answers and holding the government to account for? Yet instead we hear for two days how bad the man handwriting is.

I strongly support freedom of the press, it's a big part of living in a democracy. Yet just because you can say anything, doesn't mean you always should. Morality as Oscar Wilde said, like art, means a drawing a line someplace.

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