First you have a morning talk show host take a call from a caller in a suburb where there has been a spate of violent robberies, with some victims unfortunately being killed. Sadly this is no myth in South Africa.
Next the caller states that this crime spree is due to the sudden need of drug dealers to add, the seemingly rare element, Phosphor obtained from Plasma TV's, to the cheap street drugs freely available in Gauteng (sadly not a myth either)
All you then need is an "ex drug dealer" to phone in and confirm the storey. Not an 'alleged' dealer, that word is seemingly only used when referring to alleged rhino horn poachers and government officials allegedly abusing state funds.
Take unsubstantiated story, add the word of a self-confessed criminal, pour into a excitable radio host's show and stir with public input (be sure to ignore the lack of substantial proof). Simmer for a day or so, stirring regularly. Once you have removed any denial from the police regarding the validity of this claims, because seemingly, the police's word is less reliable than an ex drug dealer, serve as a news item.
For my own amusement I will now apply the seemingly more rare element of Logic to this tale.
a) The term 'Plasma TV'
Plasma TV's are large (82 centimetres (32 in) or larger), heavy and expensive. Seemingly everyone in Alexandra owns one.
People, that light, thin and suddenly affordable TV you bought at Game is a LCD TV or if you really fancy a LED TV. Different technology with no snort-able components.
b) These TV's are specifically targeted.
Well, yes being light and easy to carry under your armpit and even easier to sell, I'm not surprised that TV are a popular item to steal. I'm pretty sure the police dockets will reflect multiple other small items and appliances listed as well.
c) They want the 'powder' in the 'plasma' TV
There is far, far more phosphorous powder available in the old CRT or 'tube' TV's of old.
Please inform your local drug dealer that its far less risky to go to the local dump and go pick-up a truck load of discarded TV's, thereby reducing production cost.
Or better yet.
Go buy a couple of jumbo boxes of matches and just scrape off the heads and you probably will have enough phosphor for a few good smokes.
What is not a joke is the crime and senseless killing that seem to be part of our day to day living.
We do not need the media to sensationalise half facts and selected truths.
We do not need a gullible public that by default mistrust the police and believe as correct the worst possible side of a half baked story sprouting from public radio and on-line media.
Yes, I am slightly 'irritated' with the media and the public in general.
No I'm not blind to he realities of the world out there, and if there is arrests of the Plasma TV-gang and confirmation of the facts, I will gladly acknowledge my error and shake my head in wonder, muttering ... 'only in South Africa'
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