Mike Hosking: Aaron Smith deserves more apologies

I'm glad the bloke who dobbed in Aaron Smith has apologised, and I'm glad for a couple of reasons.

One, because apologies are always good, people trying to put stuff right should never be discouraged.

And two, it gives me a chance to comment on something that happened while I was away that infuriated me.

It infuriated me not because of what Smith did, which was stupid, but hardly the crime of the century. What infuriated me was several fold.

One, the bloke thinking that recording such an incident would ever in any way lead to anywhere but trouble and regret.

What sort of petty-minded, pathetic little bitter and twisted personality do you need to be to look to profit from such an event?

Two, the media up and running with it. It shows a venal, small-minded clickbait kind of thought process to take a tip like that and look to cause trouble, and that's all it really was.

This is not to say it's not a story because it was, but how stories are handled are the key.
At worst this was a breach of protocol, he deserved to be sprung and disciplined, but that's about where it needed to end.

Instead what we got was a circus.

The sort of circus you get in a country that sadly has too many people whose sole purpose in life is to feed off the misery of others. The sort of people who revel in scandal and gossip and innuendo.

We behave at times like a tiny medieval village that hasn't discovered the wider world, and the wider world has a lot of stuff going on that should be exercising and entertaining us. An All Black having sex in a toilet isn't part of that.

And we discovered, as we were always going to, when Aaron Smith got rolled out for the ritual mea culpa and burst into tears, that we all felt bad.

We sobered up and realised what a bunch of dicks we'd been.

If only we'd given a few moments' of thought to it before we saddled up our high horses and looked for some sporty old point scoring.

Things like the effect on families and partners on the other side of the world.

The lack of decorum we saw the story portray, the lewdness, the salaciousness, the sheer gleeful hand rubbing that we were bringing a tall poppy down.

And that's before you get to the legalities of recording in a place that says you can't record, or the privacy of others, including the woman involved.

If we're to look for something positive out of this let it be that we grow up, park some of the venal traits that drive us, and apply thought before we act.

- Newstalk ZB

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