Unbearably Crass

There is something very unpleasant about the media reaction to tragedy. And I don’t just mean the tasteless close-ups of celebrities’ bodies being wheeled out of their homes, or the harassment of victims and their families for headlines.

Today, I’m angry at people making political capital out of tragedy. In this regard, it was unfortunate that France was in election season, as politicians are all the more eager to make cheap points. In election season, I doubt any candidate could afford not to exploit the situation. However, I don’t doubt we’d have heard the same arguments at any point in the cycle – and it’s a disgrace.

Political points were being made before the killer was even apprehended – or as it turned out, killed. The bodies had barely even reached Israel when they were being used to beat the “left” or the “right” over the head for their various failings. It’s disgusting and needs to stop. The cynicism of remarks like “For Sarkozy, the shootings could mark a return to his old image of Supercop, France’s one-time tough-talking interior minister and head of police” is deeply disheartening. (Guardian, 21/03). It’s gotten to the point where I wonder if, in a few months, Sarkozy will be sitting in the Elysée (or not) and thanking his lucky stars that those children got brutally murdered.

This isn’t to pull a conservative, and argue that this just a tragedy caused by a madman, and we shouldn’t discuss it and its implications, and try and resolve the root causes of the situation. It’s just an appeal – have some respect. Let the dust settle. Stop trying to get one over on the “other side” for just a bit. Stop being so crass, political class.

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