IN MY OPINION
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DRY THE GLISTENING TEAR
5 March 2007
A killer hurricane has whipped through Alabama, leaving devastation in its wake. Devastation and a storm of newscasters, each determined to wring every bit of emotion out of the event.
I actually ultimately was able to divorce myself from the horror and the pain and suffering of the people involved by listening to the desperation in the questions of the newscasters. It ranked up there with questions like "your son has just been brutally murdered, Mrs. Smith--can you describe what you're feeling?"
One intrepid reporter was determined to blame FEMA. Now, I am as disgusted as the next person with the problems in the aftermath of Katrina and the lack of response, whether it was by the man in Crawford, FEMA, or local and state authorities. But this reporter pumped an interviewee, demanding to know if FEMA had been there, if things were being taken care of. Good grief, the tornado had barely happened. She almost made it sound like FEMA should have been there to have prevented the damage.
Another woman was interviewed. She had been searching for her son ever since the tornado hit. "What makes you think your son is still alive?" she was asked. "How will you feel if you find out that he was killed." Pulleeze... These are the times when I wish that the dazed person being interviewed would tell the reporter what s/he can do with stupid questions like that.
Camera persons look for the "tear shot." Let any excess moisture appear in the corner of an eye and there is an immediate zoom.
Of course, I realize that I contribute to the whole situation by actually watching this stuff. But I vainly hope that the "news" will present the "news" and not try to make every catastrophic event coverage an Oprah moment. Sometimes less is more.
And then there is the continuing obscene obsession with Everything Anna Nicole in "the drama that refuses to die." I swear that if North Korea detonated a nuclear device at the same time that Anna Nicole's body was being moved somewhere, we wouldn't hear about it until the whole body removal was completed.
I am also very upset with MSNBC because it seems that Saturdays are Scott Peterson days. MSNBC has a "Headliners and Legends" program which airs several times over the weekend and I can't think of a Saturday when I've checked the schedule when Scott Peterson was not featured at least once during the day. Surely there is someone else in the entire United States of America and its 200+ year history who is at least as interesting as Scott Peterson.
If you combine the sob-sister coverage of natural disasters with the obsession with faux stars like Smith and Peterson, wringing every possible ounce of drama out of the whole sorry state of affairs, is it any wonder that we are looked at so negatively by the rest of the world, particularly the Middle East.
I happened to check in on "Baghdad Burning" this morning. The writer had been silent for quite awhile, but there is a blood chilling story, in two parts--the story itself and the government's response. I recommend reading it. It begins
This is how the entry ends:
Newscasters don't cover stories like this. There are no Hollywood personalities involved.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Another of Peggy's orphans (this one is blind)
This is entry #2531