Mourners express sorrow over the death of Prince with flowers and affectionate words. (Andres Kudacki / AP)

“Has something gone adrift within the moral compass of our ‘news’ reporting?” asks Robert Fisk at The Independent.

In the past week, 64 Afghans have been killed in the largest bomb to have exploded in Kabul in 15 years.  At least 340 were wounded.  The Taliban set off their explosives at the very wall of the ‘elite’ security force – watch out for that word ‘elite’ – which was supposed to protect the capital.  Whole families were annihilated.  No autopsies for them.  Local television showed an entire family – a mother and father and three children blown to pieces in a millisecond – while the city’s ambulance service reported that its entire fleet (a miserable 15 vehicles) were mobilised for the rescue effort.  One ambulance was so packed with wounded that the back doors came off their hinges.

But Prince also died this week. …

No, I don’t begrudge those who mourn this brilliant musician and the social revolution he represented.  The ‘Purple Rain’ ‘superstar’ also had fans across the Middle East.  There are Arab Facebooks aplenty today expressing their sorrow at his death.  But I do wonder if we are going too far.  When network television presenters are expressing their condolences to the mayor of Minneapolis and the Eiffel Tower has turned purple, there must surely come a time when we ask ourselves if our sense of priorities has not lost all perspective.  Could not one of those three dead children in Kabul have become a ‘Prince’?  Or the children among the five hundred souls on the sinking Mediterranean boat?  Could not he or she have become a ‘superstar’?  How about a few presenters expressing their sorrow for their deaths, too?  The colour would be black instead of purple, of course.  The Eiffel Tower lights would have to be switched off. 

But this will not happen.  Because ‘Prince’ died this week.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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