Why do newsreaders often become nut-jobs? You’d think that people working in mass-media would have an inkling of the nature of the beast they are riding – that is, you’d think they would be able to tell that declaring divine retribution does not go down well in a week of national tragedy.
The former newsreader Eva Herman made an ill-advised decision to use last Saturday’s terrible events to say what she’d always been meaning to say about the Love Parade – “oh that reminds me” she must have thought – and ended up suggesting that Jehovah had decided to punish the million and a half revellers attending the event by killing 20 of them.
British people are used to newsreaders taking over the news. Admittedly, when British newsreaders try a career in zealous prophecy it turns a bit more surreal. David Icke was a sports newsreader whose mind unravelled, and now gives lectures about shape-shifting, world-controlling lizards – he’s not as much as much of a Nazi as Eva, but his heart’s on the same Nazi-alien planet.
Here’s my psychoanalysis of the situation: when certain softer-brained people go home and see themselves as a head on TV, they lose perspective on what TV is – they literalise words like “channel” and “news” and imagine themselves as an actual funnel for messages from very different places. They have no idea who writes the lines that appear on the autocue, or what they mean. They have no sense of their own personalities anymore except as a face on a screen. God is also just waves in the air, after all, and soon enough people are going on about secret codes in the Bible and how Hitler “had some good ideas”.
Eva Herman’s insanity is often overlooked – her remarks about family policy started one of Germany’s ever-recurring “debates” about whether or not they can “talk about the Nazis”. But one look at the Kopp Verlag website, where this week’s offending articles were published, makes clear where Herman should really be categorized – with the alien-lizard-ancient-runes-freemason people.