If further evidence were needed that Fairfax has made its own trouble by hiring a newsroom that writes solely for its mates, have a look at the Sunday Sun-Herald’s coverage of an effort to ban body-building stimulant, DMAA, used by (ick!) weightlifters and (double-ick!) miners which included both a news story and a lead editorial in the weekend paper:
There should be nothing wrong with young men working hard on their fitness. They spend hours in the gym improving their physique and decidedly avoiding the great Australian epidemic, obesity.
But there are worrying aspects to what for some young men has become an obsessive desire to achieve a powerful, muscular body shape…
Theirs is a legitimate, if fairly marginal, sport.
That health authorities regard DMAA on the same level as heroin, cocaine and crystal meth must suggest to users it’s a drug that should be avoided.
And so on and so forth in that vein. Yet just a few months ago, in late May and early June, the Herald was all but leading a campaign to legalise, or at least “start a conversation” on legalising, other drugs.
At the time the paper gave loads of space to the likes of former NSW Department of Public Prosecutions chief-turned-legalisation campaigner Nick Cowdery and also heavily promoted the Australia21 campaign to end drug prohibition. The Herald did not go quite so far as to nail its colours to the mast of legalisation, but with a nod and wink editorialised that “change is not impossible”.
Now given a choice, the Prick is against bans of all stripes and sees the law as a blunt and ineffective weapon against bad behaviour, at least as it is defined by the moral middle classes. But if, as one can reasonably make the case, the so-called War on Drugs has been an incalculable human disaster from go to whoa, how can one then turn around and say a bunch of weightlifters should be denied their particular poison?
Surely there can’t be that much of a difference between the hip users of prohibited substances inner-city journos may be sympathetic to on the one hand and body-building stimulant-loving proles they turn their noses up at on the other. Can there?