Saturday, August 28, 2010

ZenTiger Is this fair?

A few days ago, when I was far too busy to blog, the DomPost blazed the headline

Is this fair?

Former MP rips off charities - 300 hours work for the community

vs.

A Tortured Soul goes off the rails - Two years and three months in jail


At the time, I thought the headline was mischievous. We were not told what the crime was for the 2 years jail. "A tortured soul going off the rails" could have also been Roger McClay's crime for his expense claim fraud of $25,000 or so against charities he (presumably) volunteered his time for.

The crimes of the "tortured soul" in question was for 20 offences around stealing also. The kicker was that a police car chase was involved, and he was finally stopped with road spikes driving a stolen Jag. He had an air rifle in the back seat. Now, I don't really want to argue the harshness or appropriateness of the sentence in this instance - I don't really have enough facts and I'm happy to concede that the Dom Post may have had a point in the overall article.

I just happened to think that the headlines were misleading to phrase the expense claim fraud one one side with "rips off charities" and contrast it to "tortured soul".

The Dom Post makes my point for me so well a few days later with this front page news story:

Police Pursuit Deaths: Moron's act of devastation

Yes, you guessed it. We have another case of a driver fleeing from police, failing to stop and ultimately killing an innocent bystander in the process. Suddenly, this driver is not "a tortured soul", but a "moron".

Because when you risk other people's lives, and don't kill anyone out of good fortune, you don't deserve jail according to the DomPost article above, whereas expense claim fraud involving charities could have theoretically starved a child to death, and probably does deserve jail, according to the DomPost.

I wonder if they ever read what they write?

2 comment(s):

Seán said...

...which is why - even as a dyed in the wool Cantabrian - I never bother with Stuff.co.nz and only read nzherald.co.nz for my NZ news.

Seán said...

Mind you, Paul Holmes is at his hand-wringing best in this HoS piece: Again we must ask: 'Is this fair?'.

Just make sure you're not eating when you read it.

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