Flames on the side of my face.
That’s what I had last night as I watched ‘Australian Story’. Australian Story, if you don’t know, is a weekly documentary series on Australia’s public TV broadcaster, ABC. It features the stories of ‘real Australians’. Usually they are worthy people who have intriguing, emotional or complex life journies to share.
Generally Australian Story is a terrific show. They have, however, done some real clangers over the last couple of years. And last night was possibly the worst show – ever.
Nick D’Arcy is a an Australian swimmer – a man I find repugnant in the extreme – who bashed senseless a fellow teammate in a drunken rage one night. The fellow he bashed had a broken eye socket, broken nose and broken jaw. He received this bashing for trying to get Nick to calm down when his drunken behaviour had become out of control at a team social event.
After the incident, this…I hesitate to use the term ‘human being’…showed absolutely no remorse whatsoever. He and his parents focussed completely on trying to spin-doctor the situation to make sure his swimming career wasn’t damaged. The whole thing has made me feel sick from day 1.
Recently Nick D’Arcy got off with just a slap on the wrist in the court case. He’s already back swimming and there’s talk of him being reinstated to positions and situations he was in as an Australian athlete prior to bashing Simon Cowley senseless. So Nick D’Arcy gets to bash someone senseless and leaving him with permanent injuries, destroying Simon’s confidence and negatively altering the course of Simon’s whole life….and what happens? He gets off with a slap on the wrist and goes right on with his career and life as if nothing had ever happened.
And then what?
Our publicly-funded Government broadcaster devotes an entire 1/2 hour to making it seem like Nick D’Arcy was the real victim. Poor Nicky, didn’t get to go the Olympics…got depressed…has a binge drinking problem… Yeah right, he only now has ‘depression’ and a ‘binge drinking problem’ because it’s fashionable in the media and helps spin-doctor the situation even more. Poor Nick – didn’t know what he was doing, didn’t mean to hurt the guy…yeah right! Let’s not mention his other violent incidents.
What enraged me so much last night was the way the story was presented. And the fact that there was an episode of Australian Story about Nick D’arcy at all. The show should have been about Simon Cowley and focussing on how his life has been destroyed by this.
But what we got was half an hour of absolute spin-doctoring by Nick D’Arcy and his parents. That his parents are aiding and abetting him in this disgusting attempt at public ‘redemption’ just sickens me. Aren’t parents supposed to be responsible? Nick D’Arcy is never going to be a better human being because his parents are right behind him trying to re-write history to make him the victim of the whole situation.
Just who is calling the shots at Australian Story? The show is supposed to feature decent Australian men and women and their stories. What we got last night was a half-hour promo-piece for someone that many believe should be in jail right now.
And what is it about the Australian public that almost condones this sort of behaviour in sports people. It’s okay to bash and rob and rape and deal drugs…as long as you’re a good rugby player or cricketer or champion swimmer? Everything is overlooked as long as you’re performing well in your sport. Ugh! It’s a repugnant part of my country that I’ve never understood.
24 hours after the show was broadcast and I still have flames on the side of my face.
Shame Nick D’Arcy, shame.
Shame, Mr & Mrs D’Arcy, shame.
But most of all….
Shame, ABC, shame.