ED’S DESK: (Fake) Violence Is Never The Answer… Unless There’s Money To Be Made, And Desperate Attention To Be Paid

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WHAT DO YOU GET when you combine an ‘influencer’ desperately seeking attention, and a journalist desperately seeking a story… any story? You get ‘modern news’… followed by an unsettling feeling of having been taken advantage of.

ED’S DESK is a new semi-regular column by New Matilda, where we give readers an inside look at the sub-editing process involved in news-making. Or at least, we give you an inside look at what should have been the sub-editing process to correct a steaming pile of sh*t story that actually got published, despite holes in it you could drive a truck through.

[HEADLINE] Desperate attempt to end Gold Coast road rage fight

[BYLINE] Elise Williams

[INTRO] Bystanders were forced to intervene in a road rage incident on the Gold Coast, as footage of a fight shows two men ganging up on another before one holds him to the ground by his neck.
[ED’S NOTES] Elise, your headline ‘Desperate attempt to end Gold Coast road rage fight’ needs to be changed. I’ve watched the video – there’s nothing desperate about it. Indeed the only ‘desperation’ on display in this video is the level of attention seeking contained within it. Please amend.

[BODY COPY] The altercation, shared online by Queensland Instagram and OnlyFans influencer Luke Erwin, shows the terrifying fight that unfolded on an Upper Coomera road on Monday.
[ED’S NOTES] Elise, the fight is not “terrifying”. Watching someone get beheaded is terrifying. Watching a group of toxic Australian males roll around on a roadway is, at worst, disappointing, and at best, mildly amusing. Please amend.

The footage initially shows two men front up on a lone man – the trio all throwing punches – before Mr Erwin, along with another unnamed man try desperately to break up the fight. However the confrontation quickly descended into chaos as the trio end up on the ground, while Mr Erwin and his mate pull over to offer help.
Elise, again with the ‘desperately’ thing… there was no desperation in this video, as evidenced by your very next paragraph, which strongly infers ‘a sort of general indifference to proceedings’.

“Should we break it up or nah?” the men discuss before running out to pull the men apart. Worryingly, one man refused to let his grip go as he held another to the ground with his arm firmly around his neck. The man, who is being held in a brace on the ground, pulls at the man’s arms as he tries to escape.
Elise, I admire your attempts to describe a video we can all just watch for ourselves – for example ‘being held in a brace’. Except that a brace is a “device fitted to something, in particular a weak or injured part of the body, to give support” or “a pair of straps that pass over the shoulders and fasten to the top of trousers at the front and back to hold them up”. I can’t see either of those things in the video, which is a shame, because that would be a much better story: ‘Thugs use neck brace to pin man to ground in assault that defies laws of physics’. Or possibly ‘Angry clowns use suspenders as weapon in hilarious Gold Coast road rage attack’. Please clarify. Also, your use of the word ‘worringly’…? What is worrying you about a guy in a fight refusing to let go of someone he is fighting? Can you offer a less worrisome way in which dickheads should beat the crap out of each other? Please drop the commentary and histrionics, and just report the facts.

Onlookers can be heard shouting “get off him c***” as well as screaming at a man to “get in the f*****g car”. Finally the fight fizzles out as two men get into a waiting car. Blood can be seen dripping from two of the men, as an onlooker yells “it’s two on one”. Mr Erwin wrote about the video on his Instagram page Monday night. “Violence is never okay, especially 2 on 1,” he said. “We had to intervene, these guys were out of control, the dude could have lost his life.” A Queensland Police Service spokesman said they were not aware of any complaints in relation to the incident, however urged anyone who may have been involved to come forward.
Well done on contacting Queensland Police Elise, to seek media comment about an incident that has no news value. This is a sensible use of taxpayer funds. I was about to write to HR requesting that they give you an immediate promotion and pay rise, but then I checked the Youtube channel for ‘LukeErwin23’. His top four videos are ‘This guy wanted to fight me’, ‘Giving out shots (this guy attacked me)’, ‘Luke Erwin and Bigkash 1v1 Boxing’ and ‘Hater knocks me out in public’. So obviously, violence IS the answer for Luke Erwin sometimes, indeed it appears to be his preferred form of entertainment. Please add ‘Investigate whether or not Luke Erwin set this whole ridiculous shit-show up in a ‘desperate’ attempt to gain notoriety… which he so obviously did’ to the news list for discussion tomorrow morning. Also, please stop by my office this evening before you leave. Cheers, Ed.

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