Thursday, January 29, 2009

"Lurking With Intent" - Op Ed

Responding to a recent tsunami of bad shark press in Australia, South Africa, and elsewhere this month, writer Linley Boniface takes on the issue of sharks and the media:

I never thought I'd say this, but I am bored with sharks. This summer, it has been impossible to open a newspaper or turn on the TV without being subjected to yet another daring shark escape story.



On closer inspection, these yarns have invariably turned out to involve nothing more thrilling than an exceptionally timorous surfer paddling for safety after spotting a fishy shadow pottering quietly along the shoreline, minding its own business.

While sharks in Australia do, as the Australians rather wonderfully say, "take" the occasional swimmer, Kiwi sharks are about as predatory as a newborn ladybug. Occasionally, a shark will accidentally graze a surfer's calf with a tooth, while yawning: cue national panic and the mass closure of beaches.



Silliest of the many absurd shark reports the media has pestered us with this summer was one from Radio New Zealand. The national broadcaster quoted Constable John Paul Tremain as urging people to stay away from beaches near Dunedin because a large shark had allegedly chased a couple of surfers from the water.

RNZ said Constable Tremain did not know the "exact size or breed of shark" - terrifying news in itself; someone is breeding the things! - but was convinced it was "lurking with intent".

Lurking with intent? Intent to do what? The sea is where sharks live: sharks no more lurk in the sea than I lurk in my house.


Complete Story

1 comment:

Sharky said...

I'm getting bored of Shark jams too. Say it ain't so? But it's true. What am I to do?