Obiter Dictum

Notes on the adventure of life.

Posts Tagged ‘Steve Stevaert

Goodbye Hugo Camps

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Yesterday, politician Steve Stevaert committed suicide. Less than 24 hours later, one of Belgium’s best known columnists, Hugo Camps, wrote a column on Mr Stevaert that is nothing short of character assassination.

It’s funny how journalists who pontificate about the rise of public opinion spouting on social media, give themselves the right to do so too, simply because ‘it is their job’. The only difference between Camps and the rest of us is the fact that the opinions of Camps & Co come wrapped in prettier words.

Mr Camps has the right to his opinion, just like everyone else. But yesterday he crossed a line which he shouldn’t have crossed. He abused his power – something he accuses Mr Stevaert of, ironically – to publish a piece that destroys the politician. He used his soapbox to let readers know, amongst others, that Stevaert was false, dictatorial, had a problem with women and that “insiders knew he had DSK tendencies”.

In a few cruel sentences, Camps took away one of Stevaert’s most basic human rights: the right to be innocent until proven guilty. He used his power as journalist to become Stevaert’s judge, jury and executioner.

I’m done with Hugo Camps. This time he went too far. His carefully cultivated ‘grumpy old man’ persona isn’t remotely entertaining any more.

You have become the Uncle Scrooge of decorum and empathy, Mr Camps. That is how I will remember you. I leave you with these words from the book “Telling True Stories”:

“To write about one’s own life and the lives of family and friends is to accept that exploitation of self and others. To write about yourself and the people in your life is to accept that, in part, you are a bastard. You must face and come to understand your demons.”

You play lightly with the demons of others, Mr Camps, but I doubt whether you have had the courage to face your own.

Written by sabineclappaert

April 3, 2015 at 11:27 am