inmatesrunningasylum (c2000-2050)

Does any other self-identified 'opinionator' exist who yells louder than Bill O'Reilly,is as stupidly insipid as Sean Hannity, as impervious to the truth as Chris Matthews,is as over-bearingly condescending as Nancy Grace,more narcissistic and smarmy than Geraldo Rivera,or more worthless than Connie Chung? Help me hold the collective 'media' feet to the fire, have fun playing w/ words and searching for great websites to blog. Door's open, come on in!!

Location: California, United States

I run on the beach and no one mistakes me for Bo Derek and I'm proud of that; I walk and explore in the redwood forests while moving banana slugs so they don't get squashed by traffic. Love art, esp.sculpture and/or anything with color;all over the map w/music. Talk back to the television and radio...I still haven't figured out how they get those tiny people into the TV/radio.

26 January 2006

Coal Miner Story

Author of

I am inclined to think that the crush of media people trying to be first with the story was at the heart of the horrific mistake in reporting the deaths of the twelve miners.

Last year, there was a situation across the street from me, about three houses down, in which a chimney sweep got electrocuted climbing up to a rooftop. Next, the first two firefighters who showed up got themselves shocked as well. One of the three died, and even now I am not sure which person it was. The point is this: a relatively small-potatoes story like this drew thirteen TV and radio news crews, as well as three media helicopters circling overhead. Predictably, the newsies were shoving a mic in front of anyone who appeared willing to talk, and God knows what misinformation resulted. My notion is that anyone who had time on his hands to chat with the press was not closely enough involved with the rescue to know what was going on.

Oddly enough, the book that I picked up to read in the bathroom this morning was Ho Hum: Newsbreaks from the New Yorker. E.B. White brought this out in 1931; it's a compendium of the squibs that the magazine published as space-fillers, and of course White was wont to add some pithy remark of his own at the end. It would be highly insensitive and inappropriate to publish the entry I have scanned and included here, in the light of this mining tragedy. But it does show that the mis-representation of news events is nothing new.

(On the subject of inappropriate reactions, this: during my few years in radio, I worked at one station where as the morning-drive DJ, I would rip-and-read the news off the AP wire. There was never time to preview anything other than the slug line, and thus I once found myself reading a story about a baby who had crawled off the diaper changing table, fell head first into a bucket of dirty diapers being soaked, and had drowned. God forgive me, but I started to crack up. I had the foresight to kill my mic and hit the play button on whatever was in the nearest cart machine.)

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