Monday, July 30, 2007

Somebody Got Murdered

I can't link to the piece but Matt Cooper, in his column in the Sunday Times, wrote yesterday about crime figures - the fear and the facts. He talked about how many of the listeners to his radio show claimed to keep weapons for fear of being 'murdered in their beds'. He then went on to point out the very real fact that if you don't mix in dodgy circles, and if you can trust your relatives not to kill you, the chances of being a random murder victim in Ireland are minute. In fact it's somewhere around the 1-in a million chance. Still more likely than winning the Lotto with a €12 quickpick, though! And of course you are still a hundred times more likely to be killed in a road accident. So all well and good.

But the question I have for Matt is why he reads the witless scaremongering comments of his listeners live on air without making any attempt to correct or address what are utter falsehoods? I imagine it's to avoid alienating his listeners. After all nobody likes their wild perceptions of crime/health/politicians/teenagers/corporations/whatever corrected by some know-all (i.e. someone sober armed with facts) - it can put a right downer on a good rant about how everything is going to hell in a handcart. But by not doing so surely he, with his widely listened to radio show, is as responsible as anyone for perpetuating the fear of crime among the populace?
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