Can New Zealand please have the last couple of days back? The Aaron Smith has consensual sex story has not been our finest moment.
We can’t even do a low-level sex scandal right.
Oh, the outrage, and more importantly, oh the extraordinary breaches of privacy.
Aaron Smith was a smug idiot and needs to be disciplined by Steve (Hansen, not Tew). But the overreaction to this story has been quite something.
The story led every single news bulletin on Thursday morning. Yes, even RNZ’s Morning Report. A couple has been found to have had consensual sex. Sadly yet inevitably the Prime Minister also had a Hot Take on it.
So let’s look at the curtain-twitchers who reported it. The man who first noticed the situation was because the woman involved was “well-dressed and attractive”.
He then recorded the encounter behind a locked door.
Double Eww. Seriously; what have we become?
His wife then expressed all sorts of weird outrage. Apparently she felt increasing anger that a couple should do this, and there were children present. Also, “For God’s sake; he’s on a Weet Bix packet”.
Noting there were no children present behind that locked door. Never mind; she was determined that all NZ children should know what a leading All Black got up to when bored and with time on his hands.
If she, or her husband busily recording “rhythmic noises” were so outrageously offended by this well then maybe informing All Black management, who would have been in the same terminal may have been the more obvious escalation point.
But no, there was grandstanding and potential financial gain to be made. Unlike everyone else in this; they remain anonymous.
That was only the start of it. TVNZ sent out a camera crew to do a 20 second camera expose of the lavatory in question. Left-to-right, and then back again. It’s hard to appear relevant when covering sport in 2016.
Then the soon to be merged Stuff and Herald websites engaged in a really mucky race to the bottom. Apparently Stuff had 11 active stories at one stage on the subject.
“Woman seen leaving Aaron Smith’s house wearing sunglasses and hat”. It’s big when a hat is involved.
Then: “Is this the woman from the toilet?”
“Father of Aaron Smith’s Partner Speaks out”.
Except, in those last two cases the quote from the person was pretty much “Stop it, and leave me alone”.
It is easy to blame the media for this tawdry voyeurism, but in this digital age they know what generates clicks. We are collectively responsible for this.
News websites check on clicks constantly. You must be clicking on them a bit (the Aleppo stories are probably more challenging) so it’s a vicious circle. To the bottom.