Trust The Daily Telegraph to do something fundamentally crook like this: The limo driver at the centre of the current Sydney COVID-19 outbreak – a man who has been unwittingly thrust into the limelight through no real fault of his own – has had his image plastered across the Daily Tele‘s front page this morning for editorial reasons that can only be interpreted as being rather grot.
The Tele has apparently seen fit to send photographers to the man’s house to capture the moment he – and his wife – left their 14-day quarantine following their positive test on June 16.
Though the man’s face is obscured by bags, his image still takes up massive real estate on the front page, and seeks to drum up some sort of stir amongst readers with the rather leading headline “Limo driver on the move.”
The full front page is below. Additional blurring of the image has been added by PEDESTRIAN.TV as our own editorial choice.
Though it is true that the man has had media interactions over the past week, notably an interview with A Current Affair, the difference between that (which was his own choice), and this (which almost definitely is not) is vast.
What possible public good could be gleaned from this? What’s the angle here? What point are they trying to make? The answers to all three questions are simple: Nothing, fuck knows, and a bad one.
By their own reporting accompanying the splashed image, “police cleared him of any health order breaches.” It’s been well-trodden ground that the man was unvaccinated, but GP consultation and pre-existing conditions made the AstraZeneca vaccine inappropriate for him individually. And as a man aged over 60, that was the only one available to him at that point in time.
It’s beyond stupid that we’re identifying and publicly outing people who have the grand misfortune of being “Patient Zero” in any outbreak; a weighted term useful only for contact tracing purposes that nonetheless demonises anyone saddled with it. Frequently unfairly.
We’re not expecting the Daily Telegraph to cover themselves in journalistic glory on any given day. But even by their ankle-high standards, this absolutely sucks.