A favourite tactic of media critics is to use anecdotal evidence to tar the whole profession. In his Business Day column this week, Xolela Mngcu goes one better. He convicts the media of “cowboy justice” in its coverage of Jacob Zuma’s legal travails, without providing one shred of evidence in support.
Probably no other cartoons have ever got South Africans a-twitter like Zapiro's recent rape of justice images. Not even the Danish Mohammed cartoons came close.
Pity then that most comments have been on the medium, and not the message. After all, the pictures are means to an end, rather than seeking to attract attention to their own ontology.
It's a bit like the passengers debating whether a driver was wrong to point out dirt on the windscreen ... instead of seeing beyond the glass to the untarred road that's ultimately responsible.
Signs of division appeared in Jacob Zuma’s camp this week when the ANC president disagreed publicly with one of his staunchest supporters over media effects.
While SACP leader Blade Nzimande accused City Press of sowing division and confusion within ANC ranks, Zuma has come to the conclusion that nobody much bothers about what they read in newspapers.