Monday, April 14, 2008

Bridget: an enquiry into morals

What is it about Bridget Saunders? How does she manage to write such utter tripe week after week? And what is it about me for reading it? Why do I feel drawn to the About Town section of the SST? And why am I asking these questions? Why am I sharing my internal monologue with you? Perhaps because Bridget cannot help asking questions to which she knows the answers, but she will not tell us those answers. She is such a tease, that girl.

This week's selection, written in Bridget's characteristic schoolgirl style and with her unique punctuation, included:
Who is the biggest hypocrite the New Zealand Media has ever known? [go on, tell us; we really have no idea]

Which minister of the Crown openly admits to hating the Rt. Honourable Helen Clark? [if it is so open, why can't you tell us, Bridget – lawyers got your tongue?]

Which very married media presence took a 22-year-old hooker to Asia with him? This is nothing though, compared to the 15-year-old hooker he enjoyed one day while the family were out. (He rang a knock shop and ordered in and when the girly arrived he was concerned at how young she was and asked her age. When she said 15, he first thought, "Oh dear" and then thought "Oh, what the hell, you're here now!")
Oh dear. It's all fun and games until someone violates a minor. Or rather, no: it's still fun and games because the story is about a celebrity. It doesn't matter that what he did is illegal and appalling. It doesn't matter that it is illegal for a "knock shop" to employ a girl of 15. Nah, it's all about gossip. Pause for a moment and consider the terms used: hooker – knock shop – girly. Bridget, she was Fifteen. Do you remember when you were Fifteen, about the time your prose style stopped developing? She's not a hooker or a girly, she is a child prostitute – a victim of men, including your very married celebrity.

By a strange coincidence, the lead story in the SST was about another 15 year-old girl: Marie from Christchurch, who has been missing for two weeks. But Marie's story is a cause for concern, while "the girly" is just a bit player in the life of a celebrity. At least the Police are looking for Marie. I doubt Bridget will be telling them the details of her story. I doubt the media presence will have to account for his behaviour. I doubt his victim will receive the help she needs.

Maybe I am just being a bit old-fashioned. Or maybe not; here is the start of another story by Bridget:
Once the hottest restaurateur in town, Philip Sturm, who has been to hell and back (prison for gay sexual violation) has been out on home detention for five months now and is now on parole. For those who are convinced of his innocence (an awful lot of people) this is is wonderful news and he will be welcomed back with open arms.
Wut? It was just "gay sexual violation" (five counts of sexual violation and one of stupefying involving four men, in case you forgot the case) and an awful lot of people were convinced of his innocence. Well, I can think of twelve who were not.

The striking feature of Bridget's ramblings (apart from her difficulties with English) is her absence of moral discernment. Famous people do things: the have fights in public, they have affairs, they hire child prostitutes and they rape people. It doesn't really matter; it's all goss.

But no; I am misrepresenting Bridget. She also does politics and lit-crit:
A friend has read the first 10 chapters of Ian Wishart's book Absolute Power: The Helen Clark Years and he says it will be terminally DEVASTATING for the prime minister
No it won't, Bridget. While you were deciding which lip-gloss went with which eyeliner, some of us, for some time, were reading Ian's revelations about Helen; knowing his form, we don't expect this book to bring down the Government. Trust us on this; and we will trust you to keep us informed about celebrity rapists and child molesters, in your own special way.


Sanctuary said...

I never read her. I reckon she is unbelievably tragic - everyone she talks about is over 45 and really, reporting the dog and pony shows of store opening, brand launches and the like hardly constitutes Auckland's happening social scene.

If you want to know what the young or hip or beautiful are doing, it helps to actually a) be young, or b) be hip or c) be beautiful and d) be where said a) and b) and c) hang out.

Saunders is a haggard old slattern representative of the people she reports on - the sort of people who went out of fashion with Felicity Ferret.

Now the stories I could tell...

Little Red Riding Hood said...

Without bitching about Bridget (and I'm sure she could probably handle it anyway), she needed to hear that Paul.

Great to see a post so focussed on the important things.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Ian Wishart and his new book, if you cross to his forum you will find this amazing video promotion - featuring Ian Wishart on Ian Wishart!!!! Yes. Ian talks about Ian in the third person.

Meanwhile the countdown for release grinds on. On 21 May the sky will fall on NZ - and all that will be left will be a few cartons of "Absolute Power" so that aliens will be able to identify the cause.

Anonymous said...

Promotion video for ABSOLUTE POWER, Ian Wishart's answer to The Hollow Men!

If faces in video seem familiar you have probably seen them in Investigate Magazine!!!

Ha Ha HA!!!!

Anonymous said...

The link:

Anonymous said...

Yes, but we're talking about Investigrunt, not a responsible and mainstream media outlet...
which it is not...

Craig Y

Craig Ranapia said...

Here's what really pisses me off about the likes of Bitchit Saunders and Ratshit Glaucoma Anyone who suggested these prima donna gossip hags "enjoyed" an under-age rent boy would be getting a letter from Sue, Grabbit and Runne in the next post.

Funny how very thin-skinned, and intensely protective of their privacy, professional panty-sniffers are. Isn't it?

stephen said...

The charitable explanation is that she makes it all up, with some help from the rumour mill - so there is no media presence, and no 15 year old prostitute. All there is is her sordid imagination.

Of course that leaves the Sturm stuff.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad other people have picked up the Sturm comments - I didn't read her paper this week, but the other one in the Herald on Sunday made similar comments, something along the lines of, if he (Sturm) opens a restaurant "we'll be first through the doors."

I can't believe how lightly these people take this very serious conviction. It might be worth reminding them how difficult it is to for police to secure sexual violation convictions.

I'm all for people being rehabilitated, but turning a convicted rapist into a celebrity seems to be going a bit far, doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

It probably helps that these people likely share the same drug dealer as Sturm, et al.

Anonymous said...

I can't speak for Bridget but as a former gossip writer I will confess to having made up sh1t up to fill a column innumerable times myself.

I skim thru her stuff from time to time but invariably I spot vague generic 'gossip' that could be about anyone. And since no-one can tell who it is it doesn't matter that it's made up does it? As long as the readers are titillated they're happy.

I always thought I'd done my job when I heard my made up gossip bounced back to me by someone who insisted they knew who it was and that IT WAS ALL TRUE!

But I had the advantage of writing under a pseudonym, and Bridget does not. So I was never under any pressure from friends/drug buddies to exonerate rapists.

Anonymous said...

Bridget says:

"A friend has read the first 10 chapters of Ian Wishart's book Absolute Power: The Helen Clark Years and he says it will be terminally DEVASTATING for the prime minister"

Well the excerpts in the Sunday papers were unfriendly to the POLICE, but NZ public does not see the linke between the police and Helen Clark.

It is not "devastating" or "terminal" to anyone, although Wishart himself may be well advised to think about repeating a stunt like this.

Bridget is dumb, no two ways about it.

Anonymous said...

Would one therefore describe any Wishart Valentines Day activity as a Cupid Stunt, or is that a malapropistic rendering of the creature itself?

Craig Y

nznative said...

I followed the auckland restaurant owners trial and could not really understand how he was found guilty of rape when this chap was not .

Because during during the restaurant owners trial a lot was made out of him plying the young men with ecstasty and speed.

The victims claimed these drugs 'made them ' engage in homosexual sex that they otherwise would never have had.

I've taken a bit of both those drugs in my past and never have they made me want to have homosexual sex.

IMO the trial and verdict relied on the judges and the jurys ignorance of the REAL effects of these illegal drugs.

My point is his trial was tainted by our societys ignorance and double standards regarding illegal drugs.

Having said all that he is a convicted rapist who at the very least manipulated his victims to get what he wanted.

But it sounds as though his victims were nowhere near as "stupified" as the woman that the police officer had sex with.

Anonymous said...

The following is not a gossip column but an Oz blog concerning a cadaver and the RC church.

Lita said...

Great post.

I, too, often wonder how I end up at BS central.

So many of her posts contradict previous rambles - the olde moral compass has spent way too long next to le diamante studded cellphone.