Unemotional Laws

Hear ye! That insatiable ego, that mouth full of feet, that moralizer bereft of a moral centre, the man who wears more foundation than the former Bruce Jenner; the one and only Michael Laws has called our attention to his latest Facebook snarl.

This time he has chosen Hillary Barry as his target, with the accusation that she was unprofessional for breaking down during 3 News after it broadcast a tribute video to her long time friend and colleague John Campbell. Apparently Campbell’s leaving Mediaworks is purely because of his ego being tarnished — on this I have to grant Laws his point on the grounds that his knowledge of the ego is unmatched. The man would complain that God has a nicer seat than him.

Where I must take issue with him is on the point about Hillary Barry’s priorities being wrong, and the prowling misogynism underlying the critique (Laws referred to her as “girl”). Over the years the evening news has used a variety of techniques to provoke the emotions of the viewers. A tribute video is supposed to illicit the kind of reaction we saw from Barry. She was momentarily caught in the trap set by her own medium — an occupational hazard that has plenty of examples on YouTube.

That Michael Laws misses this point is unsurprising, but also unseemly. It is disheartening to be reminded that some individuals lack elementary emotional knowledge. I don’t mean that one has to empathize with Hillary Barry, even the sociopath grasps emotional theory in an  academic way. I mean that other people have no real existence to Laws. He is completely solipsistic, and that’s why his radio times and Facebook tirades are so hollow. There’s nothing there for us.

John Campbell leaves a show with which he has tried every day to give us substance, and for that I mourn. I hope he isn’t confined to a Sunday program, where substantial journalism holds out through its death throes.

One last point on priorities. I think crying over a close friend is evidence of a human being who has come to terms with what matters most, and with that I say Hillary Barry’s priorities are dead right.

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