Media Circus: Sydney Siege Edition

It’s been a bad week here in Sydney, and the community, political and media response to the Lindt cafe siege has been, shall we say, uneven – although from my point of view it’s mostly been better than I expected.

It’s also been a bad week in Peshawar, where over a hundred students were massacred by Pakistani Taliban terrorists.

News from the rest of the world has mostly not been great, either.

As usual for media circus threads, please share your bouquets and brickbats for particular items in the mass media, or highlight cogent analysis or pointed twitterstorms etc in new media. Discuss any current sociopolitical issue (the theme of each edition is merely for discussion-starter purposes – all current news items are on topic!).

Categories: law & order, media, violence

Tags: , ,

18 replies

  1. Boko Haram seem to be ramping up again with another 200 people, I believe mostly children and young girls, kidnapped yesterday.

  2. I can see the seasonal good will has spread all over the place…
    Some of the highlights of the past few days for me:
    * The people who are basically attributing the gunman’s actions to his religion, his possible (but undiagnosed) non-standard mental health status, and anything else they can think of. Except, oddly enough, his gender (which is actually the one characteristic which does run to a high correlation with this sort of violent activity). Funny that!
    * The back-seat drivers who are busy screaming about the NSW police not calling in a sniper in all the best traditions of cinema and video games to solve the problem. My response to that one is over here on my Dreamwidth blog, so I won’t bother re-typing it here.
    * A certain degree of cynical humour about the degree to which the MYEFO was buried by the actions of the gunman. While I won’t go so far as to allege a conspiracy, I will point out my first thought about the whole thing when I heard about it on Monday was “my, how convenient”.

  3. Good points Megpie71. Also taking the man out with a sniper would have been an extrajudicial killing which isn’t exactly legal either.

  4. Mindy: yeah, that too. But of course, none of the [expletive]s who are busy offering their expert opinions appear to have considered that particular wrinkle either.

  5. Just updated the Dreamwidth entry to incorporate the information about extra-judicial killing. Thanks for that, Mindy!

  6. No worries 🙂 I was also impressed about how our heavily armed and armoured police waited until the hostages were close enough, then grabbed them and pulled them to safety and didn’t once shoot any of them.

  7. Yeah. Clearly we have special training here. Hey, maybe there’s a potential export market for it – we could sell it to the USA as courses in “How Not To Shoot The Innocents” or something. From the sounds of things, they could use ‘em.

  8. It really has been an awful week. That Cairns story on top of everything else has just gutted me in terms of how I feel towards fellow humans right now.
    I am finding myself getting angry with the Martin Place crowds. I find it difficult to understand public outpourings of grief from people who had nothing to do with the people or place involved. If I was one of the family members or survivors, I’d find it all very intrusive. But I’m told some people in that situation find it comforting. So I just hope the majority of survivors and family members fall into that category, as that sea of flowers is not going to go away any time soon.

  9. There was a good article a few weeks back (before the siege) about memorial sites: Burdens of grief: The rise of spontaneous memorial sites. According to the article, it’s a widespread impulse in response to very unexpected deaths (eg, of young people, or people who were “just going about their day”).
    But they’re also very difficult to manage afterwards: what do you do with all the gifts? They’re often very significant to the giver. It becomes a real policy and resources problem. (I am reminded of the issues disaster relief charities have, where givers like to earmark their funds for a particular disaster even though it leads to bad funding allocations.) The “put out your bat” tributes to Phillip Hughes may have been a rather good idea in that respect: people made their tribute largely in space they control themselves and can maintain them or dismantle them as they like.
    It’s not an impulse I’ve shared to date but given that it is apparently widespread, perhaps I will someday.

    • I saw on FB that someone’s kids wanted to lay flowers, so they went and did so. I think I would have tried to discourage that, myself – maybe light a candle instead.

  10. I saw on Twitter the suggestion to donate to the Homicide Victims Support Group – which I think is an excellent idea.

  11. Mary I heard yesterday on the evening news, sorry can’t remember which channel we had on, that the flowers will be composted and the compost buried at a suitable site and the cards will all be saved – where I also can’t remember. I think some of them may be displayed at a memorial.

  12. Virtual hugs to all those affected by the siege.

  13. And now, in more bad news, Scott Morrison has been made Minister for Social Services. I am horrified at the prospect.
    Usually, after an awful incident like the one in Martin Place, we get all the details of the violence and I find myself overwhelmed. The media are not reporting the details this time. I am finding I still have questions about who shot whom: I don’t know if I’m being ghoulish or analytical.

  14. And now, in more bad news, Scott Morrison has been made Minister for Social Services. I am horrified at the prospect.

    Me too. Are they going to spend this Parliament rotating him through all the portfolios dealing with vulnerable people or what?

  15. I should note that link is not about the siege.

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