The Private Jake Kovco story just keeps getting more farcical. The government overdoes things just a tad by putting on the highest military honours for his funeral. And because the media abhors the vacuum left by the gaping holes in Defence’s explanation of how he died, there’s no end of speculation.

This prurient interest in the minute details of the private lives of the late private and his wife sickens me. It’s the spectator instinct; the same one that makes people slow down when they’re driving past a car crash. Is it just schadenfreude — something bad happened, but not to me, so that’s OK?

It wouldn’t have occurred to me to say anything, except the most popular search term by which people have found my blog recently is the phrase “shelley kovco boyfriend”. Which, in case you were wondering, wasn’t in any way discussed on here until today.

And the media feeds on this base instinct. Some bright spark at Today Tonight or whichever tabloid crapfest it was says “I know! She was having an affair and he killed himself!” And it’s a brilliant suggestion because once you make it, it’s a story whatever happens. Even if you have no evidence whatsoever, put the question to Shelley Kovco, her family or the defence department. If it’s true and they admit it, paydirt! If they don’t, the story is “Widow denies affair”.

It’s win-win for the media scumbags. The only losers are the family, whose lives are further traumatised, and the public, for lapping up this filth as if it matters and as if they have any right to know.

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