You’ll have seen the government’s furious response to the Sunday Star Times “commission[ing] people masquerading as terrorists to attend Super 14 Games”.
From the sound of it, the SST got some people with fake explosives on their person (sticks saying TNT and an old timey alarm clock?) to go to the games and hang out.
None of fake explosives were detected by security or the Police. Nothing happened and no-one even knew about it until the SST asked the government for comment today by the looks of things.
It’s pretty clear the SST is planning to run a front page shock story on the weekend: ‘Terrorist threat to World Cup’ with a whole lot of wowserism about how ‘potential terrorists infiltrated packed stadiums during high-profile rugby matches’
It’s irresponsible as hell, but more than that it’s desperate and sad.
Like all the major newspapers, the SST is slowly dying. According to the ABC circulation stats, it is printing just 167,000 copies a week now, down from 182,000 only two years ago (the Herald on Sunday is also in decline and the major dailies produce 50,000 fewer copies than a few years ago). You can’t survive that kind of decline for long.
More than anything, this pathetic stunt is a dying gasp of a has-been format. One that shows everything that is wrong with the vacuous, sensationalist dinosaur media.