Imagine this scene. A ute screeches down an outer suburban street in an average sort of area. A bloke jumps out of the ute yelling into his mobile, “I am going to punch you!” another bloke bursts out his front door, red-faced, angry & ready to go. And there, in the middle of the street in broad daylight, the two of them have it out.
What would the public reaction to this scene have been? We’d have written it off as the regular Sunday afternoon rumblings of yobbos who can’t control their tempers or their inclinations towards violence. We’d have tutted our tongues, and asked, “why can’t they just behave themselves?”
The only difference between this scene & the one involving James Packer & David Gyngell on Sunday morning is the car Gyngell drove in & the fact that it happened in a fancy-pants part of Sydney.
Let’s recap. In the middle of a street in Bondi and in the middle of the day James Packer, Crown Casino mogul, and David Gyngell, CEO of Channel 9, had it out in a punch up. I’m not sure what about. (I’m not sure I really care what it was about to be perfectly honest. It’s between them and I’d like to give them some privacy. They are people too, after all.)
Since then, we’ve all been a titter with the juiciness and the scandal of it all. Including here at Mamamia. News Limited paid $210,000 for photos of the incident. On Tuesday they had seven pages of coverage in most of their daily broadsheets in every city, and this morning another five pages of coverage. In fact this morning News Limited publications were speculating about the cost of the outfits the two of them were wearing during their stoush.
The incident has been splashed across our televisions and social media feeds as some sort of hilarious celebrity moment. The public response has been to glorify in two rich guys beating the shit out of each other, practically celebrating it as the birth of a new Aussie larrikan legend.
Ah, we love it when good boys behave badly.
I understand the news value in two celebrities having a fight so publicly, this is not something that happens every day. But what I don’t understand is why we aren’t questioning and condemning this violence in the same way that we would question and condemn it if it was anyone else.