Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Cracker Comments - Steve Price(MTR)

Last month, Steve Price from radio station, MTR interviewed John Rogerson, the CEO of the Australian Drug Foundation. The topic was the AFL’s 3 strike drug policy.

Steve Price: What do you think of this idea that you can have 2 strikes and still not be named?

John Rogerson: I think it’s one of the strengths of the policy. This policy is about trying to help players who are using drugs to get off them.

Steve Price: Wouldn’t publicly shaming you after the 1st offence be more likely to get you off than keeping it a secret?

John Rogerson: The research is very, very clear on this. Public shaming does not work … one bit.

Steve Price: I don’t know how you can say that. 

Yes, the man known as the “Angry Dwarf” was not going to accept the word of a drug addiction expert or even the dozens of studies into the subject. He had his own views and it became obvious that nothing was going to change his mind.

Steve Price: How’s it working?

John Rogerson: It’s working because the number of players failing tests is decreasing.

Steve Price: That’s the numbers caught. You’re not really suggesting only 14 AFL players in the 2009 on and off season took illicit drugs, are you?

John Rogerson: I don’t know what else we can expect the AFL to do. They are testing and testing more and clearly the percentage of players failing tests is decreasing. I think what we need to bear in mind with this whole program is that if we look at the level of drug use in the AFL compared to what’s going on in the community, it’s far, far, far less so we look at the recent stats around cannabis use, 20% of males aged between 20 and 29 are using cannabis. The AFL have got one failed test.

Steve Price: Yeah, but those stats don’t match reality.


John Rogerson said on at least 5 occasions, that research clearly shows that publicly shaming drug users has a negative impact. What was Steve Price’s source of information? Why was he so adamant that John Rogerson was wrong and he was right? Price was more concerned with punishing a player than any need to help them.

Steve Price has a long history of trying to sensationalise moral issues, especially drugs. From way back in the days when he worked on 3AW, to his years on 2UE trying to crack the Sydney market, Price has been consistent with his “Shock Jock” image and bursts of moral outrage. For those who might not have had the pleasure of seeing Steve in action, here is a refresher.




The problem with bucketheads like Steve Price is that they take themselves so seriously they forget the need to check facts. It’s being perpetually angry, self righteous and having an insatiable quest for popularity that will enviably lead to taking short cuts and without the facts, it can backfire. ABC’s MediaWatch has at least 2 examples of this. But the biggest problem for Price is hypocrisy. Steve might hate drugs but his love affair with booze is somehow OK. He has written about his own excessive drinking several times for News Ltd and even has a police record for drunk-driving. Interestingly, his drunk-driving conviction didn’t stop him fronting a report on car hoons for A Current Affair. Conveniently, his current disqualification for drunk driving wasn’t mentioned and either were his 7 driving offences including 5 for speeding. Another example of hypocrisy was the failure to declare his wife, Wendy Black, worked for ex Workplace Relations Minister, Joe Hockey. How many interviews did he conduct with politicians without declaring that rip-snorter? And to top it off, it seems that the bulldog image he endears so much can be a wee bit sensitive at times. Steve Price has the honour of being one of Australia’s most litigious journalist. He has sued Steven Mayne from Crikey, Richmond’s Kevin Bartlett, Adnews magazine and Dr Turf as well as threatening various others with court action. Not surprisingly, he himself has been sued 3 times at least including one incident involving gay slurs.

Very much about different styles of talk radio and why Steve Price is moving to Sydney, and it's seen as quite a good move for Steve, because he probably suits the radio shock-jock culture that Sydney has got firmly entrenched far more than he suits Melbourne. His sort of abusive and abrasive style I think will sit very well in a 2UE where you've had John Laws for years and up until recently, Alan Jones, so I think he fits that genre of shock-jock quite well.

Let’s face it. Steve Price is not a journalist or a well researched opinionist. He is a shock jock like Stan Zemanek or Alan Jones. His holier-than-thou rants might boost his own self confidence but it is a far cry from the serious, hard hitting “journalism” that he tries to portray. Maybe, someone should tell him that defying experts on air with smug, bully-like tactics does not change the facts. It may entertain an ignorant public by sticking it to an ivory tower academic but it still just boils down to trash reporting from a uninformed, shock jock.

This is a big part of the MTR philosophy: you don’t have to read a book to know what’s what.

The interview with John Rogerson was disgraceful. Throwing in ridiculous comments like, “You think it’s OK to take drugs, do you?” or using out of context scenarios are just cheap ploys to win a straw man argument. But nothing stings your credibility more than not knowing who you are actually interviewing. 

Steve Price: OK Thank you John, John Rogerson CEO from the Australian Drug Foundation. Can we work out what the Australian Drug Foundation actually is? So I can tell people why that bloke has got such a stupid, soft view of the world. What a dumb thing to say. What an absolutely stupid thing to say. What are the Australian Drug Foundation? A marketing arm for drug dealers?

There you go. “Can we work out what the Australian Drug Foundation actually is?”  Maybe, this question should have been asked before the interview. I wonder if Steve would ask the same question about Good Sports, Australian Drug Information Network(ADIN), Community Alcohol Action Network(CAAN), Centre for Youth Drug Studies(CYDS) or the DrugInfo Clearinghouse? All these groups are part of ADF. They certainly are not, “a marketing arm for drug dealers”.



Full Transcript

video

Steve Price: What do you think of this idea that you can have 2 strikes and still not be named?

John Rogerson: I think it’s one of the strengths of the policy. This policy is about trying to help players who are using drugs to get off them.

Steve Price: Wouldn’t publicly shaming you after the 1st offence be more likely to get you off than keeping it a secret?

John Rogerson: The research is very, very clear on this. Public shaming does not work … one bit.

Steve Price: I don’t know how you can say that. 

John Rogerson: The research shows right around the world shows that if you want to help people with their addiction, where it drugs, sex, food, whatever. Then publicly shaming them has a negative impact.

Steve Price: So we should have kept Tiger Woods sexual escapades secret and he would have been more easily cured?

John Rogerson: Nah, definitely not saying that.

Steve Price: But you are saying that.

John Rogerson: No, the evidence on this is very, very clear. Public shaming is not to going to help anybody in our community get off any addiction that they have.

Steve Price: As an employer, shouldn’t I know if one of my employees is taking drugs illegally? 

John Rogerson: Well, I guess it depends on what you are going to do. If you look at the general community attitude towards illicit drugs, there is all sorts of hire and shame when they hear of anyone who takes illicit drugs. And in general Steve, it stigmatises these people. So therefore that doesn’t help with their recovery. So the whole purpose of this program is to help people recover. And stigmatising them, berating them is not going to help. 

Steve Price: It’s just a soft way out. It’s just saying we’ll keep it secret. No one will ever know, if you’re not a bad boy again, we won’t punish you.

John Rogerson: I don’t know how you can say that. Clearly this policy, this program is working.

Steve Price: How’s it working?

John Rogerson: It’s working because the number of players failing tests is decreasing.

Steve Price: That’s the numbers court. You’re not really suggesting only 14 AFL players in the 2009 on and off season took illicit drugs, are you?

John Rogerson: I don’t know what else we can expect the AFL to do. They are testing and testing more and clearly the percentage of players failing tests is decreasing. I think what we need to bear in mind with this whole program is that if we look at the level of drug use in the AFL compared to what’s going on in the community, it’s far, far, far less so we look at the recent stats around cannabis use, 20% of males aged between 20 and 29 are using cannabis. The AFL have got one failed test.

Steve Price: Yeah, but those stats don’t match reality.

John Rogerson: What would you like them to do Steve?

Steve Price: What I would like them to do is make public those players who are using drugs so if I have a 17 year old kid who is going to be drafted, I would like to know the club is going to be tough on their players who take drugs and they aught to be sacked. I’d be sacked if I got caught taking drugs.

John Rogerson: Well, you might be sacked.

Steve Price: Not might … would be!

John Rogerson: But the average person in the community who got caught using cannabis for example... 

Steve Price: Train drivers - sacked. Police officers - sacked. Ambulance officers - sacked. Doctors - sacked. 

John Rogerson: There’s an issue there about public safety. The average person in the community caught using cannabis does not get put in jail. They actually get support, treatment and diversion.

Steve Price: What about the average person who goes out and buys ice, ecstasy and cocaine from a drug dealer? That’s fine is it? What message are you sending to young people? 

John Rogerson: What this is about, and I know the view in the community is, let’s get tough on them, it actually doesn’t help them.

Steve Price: The community actually reflects what really should be the real view. They should get tough on people. This is just a soft way to deal with the issue. It is absolutely just ruining the lives of so many young people. 

John Rogerson: No, no… 

Steve Price: You think it’s OK to take drugs, do you?

John Rogerson: No, I definitely don’t think it’s OK to take drugs. But if we are going to help people using drugs get off them, then public shaming, putting them in jail, all that stuff … it doesn’t work. And the research and evidence is really clear on this. So it’s alright to have public opinion to be really tough on them but it doesn’t work.

Steve Price: OK Thank you John, John Rogerson CEO from the Australian Drug Foundation. Can we work out what the Australian Drug Foundation actually is? So I can tell people why that bloke has got such a stupid, soft view of the world. What a dumb thing to say. What an absolutely stupid thing to say. What are the Australian Drug Foundation? A marketing arm for drug dealers?

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jerk Jerk Jerk its OK for him to booze up and drive.small small man syndrom ,

Matt said...

What a loser. Honestly, if you dont have a -single clue- about treating drug use or addiction please shut your mouth. Or atleast dont try to make a fool out of one of the only people who knows what he is talking about.

Let me just say again - What a F.cking Idiot. This is why humanity is constantly being held back from proper progress - People listening to people like Steve Price.

Terry Wright said...

Thanks Anon and Matt.

Very good.

I'm glad I was able to provide some anger relief and let you get it all out.