by GERARD McCULLOCH
Warning: The images depicted further down in this post may be distressing for some readers.
The late news on Wednesday night started with a breathless update on the investigation into the Essendon AFL club’s drug program. The rapidly developing scandal was the big story of the day.
I wondered if the news was going to mention the reports filtering out of Syria, where a chemical or biological agent had reportedly been unleashed in a large-scale attack on a civilian area of Damascus.
The images appearing on social media backed reports of hundreds of dead – and a few shell-shocked survivors – many of them young children. Pale, limp, and lifeless. Not a scratch on them.
After a few more stories, including a tangential NRL angle on the football drugs scandal, the late news eventually reported the attacks. It was a verbal mention only, because the images were “too confronting for broadcast.”
The comment hit a nerve. I exploded. I even tweeted the network, knowing the futility of the gesture. Twitter is good for a vent.
What can I say? Fury breeds sanctimony. Sorry.
Here’s a still shot from a video purporting to show victims of the attack.
Most of those in the frame are dead children. As with most footage out of Syria, I have to add the disclaimer that it has not been independently verified due to the scarcity of foreign journalists in the country. (A pro-revolution blog has compiled purported images and videos of the attack here.)