“One nation candidate says …” seems have been a fairly common headline over the last 12 months.
I have some mixed feelings about the fact that being a One Nation candidate makes your opinions more newsworthy than it really should be.
I mean I get it that the people do need to know if a prospective politician who is asking for your vote is a tinfoil-hat wearing nutjob (I know I usually treat those I’m writing about with a little more respect but they usually deserve more) so it is kind of incumbent on the media to report it. But it is how they report it that I would like to see improved.
I guess I would like to see it reported with a little more plain speech and truthfulness. It is not ‘controversial’ to assert that the Port Arthur Massacre was a fabrication without any credible evidence. Let’s stop using words like that for positions that are logically untenable. It is moronic and insulting to the victims, those close to them and the dozens of witnesses who experienced it firsthand.
And by blandly repeating his comments without adding editorial comment that such comments are demonstrably stupid, the media give undue weight to his words, reigniting public discourse that is insensitive and painful to those close to victims of both Port Arthur and refugees drowned at sea.
“One Nation candidate Peter Rogers claims drowned refugee and Port Arthur Massacre are fake,” is not good enough as a headline in this case.
“One Nation candidate professes support for bizarre conspiracy theories without any credible evidence.” is the kind of headline that would accurately describe the story without giving any undeserved credibility to the clearly nonsensical claims.
Another shorter option would be “One Nation candidate is insensitive and stupid,”