Crappy Media Moralism Rules The Day

Sorry To Burst Your Bubble Lady, But I Don’t Thinks So

I’m a little legalistic sometimes. I figure if you can’t abide by the law, that puts you in the criminal basket. So if somebody’s done something criminal, then they should at least be charged, and if the charges stick by the judge, they should get tried. It’s fairly simple.

It worries me a little bit that what is happening to Matthew Johns is looking more and more like a media beat-up rather than a desire to get to the bottom of what happened. Now, it has to be said, charges were not laid, and the NZ police have said that they won’t reopen the case which seems to say to me that there isn’t anything criminal going on.

Thus it worries me considerably to see articles wherein the NSW Rape Crisis Centre chimes in and has this to say.

NSW Rape Crisis Centre Manager Karen Willis, who advises the NRL on sexual assault issues, says the problem of group sex happens across the board.

She said the NRL has already taken steps to address the behaviour of some footballers towards women.

“It’s not just footballers…generally a lot of blokes just don’t get it,” she told Network Ten.

“The NRL…(have)… been the first male-dominated organisation in this country to put up their hand and say we have a problem and we need to do something about it. That work needs to continue.”

Ms Willis also urged the men who took part in the New Zealand sexual assault with Matthew Johns to come forward and publicly name themselves.

“If they’re in any way sorry for what they’ve done or understand the impacts of their behaviour, the very first thing they need to do is admit that.”

Let’s get this right. This Karen Willis is saying these Group Sex incidents are  more common than we’ve been led to believe. The NRL is actually leading the way educating men against this kind of behaviour; but these Cronulla Sharks players need to put their hands up to take the public punishment that’s been meted out to Johns for his part – even though no charges have been laid?

I’m getting more than worried about the tenor of the media response to the allegations. Nobody can claim to know what exactly transpired. Not even Matthew Johns was there from start to finish – he left the room by his own account. The NSW Rape Crisis Centre is dispensing announcements as if Johns and the other players committed rape – which may or may not be true, but the NZ police sure don’t think so; yet these other guys have no incentive to come forward and admit they did it. They won’t even get to see the inside of a courtroom when the media has billed them guilty as charged.

Why the hell would they admit to anything? For a free kick to the crotch? These people are on drugs.

Okay, what happened was incredibly unsavory, and yes, there are immense differences of power between star athletes and a single 19 year old woman that make it very unpleasant, but I need to see that a crime was actually committed before I kick Matthew Johns any harder. I thought we still lived under a system of presumed innocence until proven guilty. All of this is just jumping the shark as they say.

The sanctimoniousness of the media and the pundits is getting pretty ridiculous.

If Not Consent, Then What?

The hypotheticals that come out of this ‘case’ are quite disturbing.

Imagine you have a one night stand with a woman, and you part ways and think everything is okay. You got your consent, did the deed as mutually consenting adults; it’s not like she screamed rape or you did any rough stuff; she’s not even saying date-rape.

Then 6 years later you’re lambasted for taking advantage of the woman, even though you secured consent at the time.

The media goes to town on your reputation and without a trial to prove anything, you’re branded as guilty as charged and sacked from your job and everybody thinks you’re the scum of the earth.

It could happened to you if a woman changes her mind about consent after the fact, and you would have absolutely no recourse. So it seems to me right now, consent isn’t consent any more if this ‘Clare’ woman’s version is allowed to stand and destroy Johns’ career. I just don’t understand why more people aren’t disturbed by that.

Why Moralising Is Not Getting Us To Ethical Behaviour

Moralising is an ugly business. You profit on other people’s bad behaviour and the prejudices of the stupid and ignorant. Heres’ Tracey Grimshaw talking about her editorial stance.

She stated clearly that Johns must answer “the hard questions” about an incident in 2002 which involved having group sex with a 19-year-old woman in a New Zealand hotel room while on tour with his team, the Cronulla Sharks.

“I wrote the editorial myself,” Grimshaw explained.

“It was something I wanted to say, and it was decided in the program meeting that day that I would do this.”

The following night, Grimshaw did score the searing 20-minute interview with Johns, who admitted that what he had done was morally wrong.

He has since stepped down from the Nine Network and from his coaching work with the Melbourne Storm.

Grimshaw is considering whether she will continue with editorials on the show.

“I don’t see why my view should be any better than anyone else’s,” she said.

“I prefer to just be a conduit for information, but this was obviously something I felt very strongly about.”

Well yes, the Group Sex thing is rather repugnant to the majority of the populace, but I still want to see charges laid and stick before I go further in condemning Johns. In the mean time Ms Grimshaw, the type of editorialising where you dance all over Johns’ credibility is actually the unethical thing to do.

Here’s another moralising column by one Robyn Riley.

That I find is the saddest indictment of the whole incident. People seem ready to believe almost anyone who has something to say, except the woman.

She’s the one person whose claims have been openly questioned.

Some of that may be because of the circumstances, how it took five days for her to make a formal complaint, but is that the only reason?

Maybe it’s more to do with the fact that Johns is a likable personality. It also may have something to do with the genuine pain and remorse he has increasingly shown with every appearance on Channel 9.

Whether by accident or manipulation, he has become the real victim in the eyes of many.

Umm, lady, you wouldn’t want to be tried in the media with the same sort of information with which Johns has been buried. I’m also a little miffed by this notion/assumption that the woman who claims to be the victim wouldn’t possibly lie about this incident, even with testimony to the contrary that’s been in the press. While I’m not defending Johns’ right to indulge in this sort of sordid behaviour (and maybe one should defend it but that’s another topic), it’s not like we’d know anything about his sex life if he wasn’t a public personality that’s just been thrown under the bus.

But you know what? If there’s one thing we know about moralists is that they’re shameless.

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