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A dog was found dead today (Gillian Gibbons, Ahmadinejad speech in later news)


December 4, 2007/9.44

The front page of The Dominion Post highlighted the death of Cricket, the pet chihuahua of New Zealand celebrity Nicky Watson, and told buyers there would be a story inside. On p. A3 there was an eighth of a page. On the radio, I heard about the passing of her dog.
   Before I launch into criticizing this, let me say that Nicky is one of the most caring and loving people I know when it comes to animals. If she hadn’t caught the modelling bug she probably would have been a bloody good vet.
   When there is so much going on in the world, I wonder why, say, President Ahmadinejad’s speech to the GCC yesterday didn’t get as big a priority. Or the pardoning of Gillian Gibbons over the Sudanese Teddy Bear Affair (if you thought she had it rough, you should have seen the bear).
   And the newspapers are wondering why circulation is declining: most New Zealanders care little about a dog whose only claim to fame is by proxy. Somehow, right or wrong, John Fairfax, they do not think the dog is in the national interest.
   If, God forbid, something happened to Paris Hilton’s dog I doubt a major American metropolitan broadsheet would give it the focus the Fairfax Press did. A lot of blogs might. Celebrity-watchers and gossip-mongers might. Leave it to them.
   After all, I thought His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani gave a good speech at the GCC conference yesterday, but the New Zealand media’s priority was clear: the dog would have its day.
   For Chrissake, leave Nicky alone and let her mourn her dog in peace. Let her friends do what is necessary to comfort her and let this be a private matter, as it would be when any other citizen’s dog has passed away.
   The other problem strangers will identify is: if this dog gets an eighth of a page, then why not some super-dog that has been helping the blind all its life?
   Will tomorrow’s Post analyse the dog’s last meal and droppings if it assumes they are in the national interest?
   I certainly don’t mean to be awful about the passing of a friend’s companion of nine years, and I respect the life that Cricket had. I apologize in advance to anyone who ?nds this offensive.
   But there is a time to respect Nicky’s privacy, while there are stories that really should be appearing in a quality.
   If I didn’t know her, I would simply say: I feel bad, but I don’t need to read about this in a newspaper I paid for.
   And really, it should just be those of us who know her who should be doing anything like eulogizing.
   Jeepers, you’d think Anna Nicole had dropped dead again and Fox News sent its helicopter out to track the hearse.
   Which Fairfax might yet still do.

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celebrity / culture / media / New Zealand / society
Filed by Jack Yan

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