Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Cha Cha Cha Chaaaanges...

As you've no doubt guessed, Thosethingswesay now has two bloggers. Really, it makes more sense, since now I'm not using the royal "we" to talk about myself. Now, it's those things Mike M. says and those things Jon E. says. The gods of proper word usage are rejoicing on Olympus in what can only be described as a Bachanalia of verb conjugation.

I think you'll like what Jon has to say.

Below, Jon notes the disparity in media coverage between bombings in Baghdad and the London bombings, despite the loss of life and deplorable nature of both. One reason I can think of that justifies the increased London coverage is that London isn't a war zone. But that's not a convincing explanation, is it?

Jon's got a better grasp when he says it's about who we identify with, and we Americans are trained to think of the British as an undeclared member of the United States. He poignantly asks if the media should encourage that perception, or if the media should be encouraging us to feel, and object to, the loss of innocent life wherever it happens.

My own take on recent media coverage was a little different. I noticed that the London Bombings took a back seat to Hurricane Dennis this weekened. Hurricane coverage is almost always stupid. Windblown reporter! Check out what happened to this shed! That dog is swimming in the flood! This hurricane is Dennis the Menace! Look at me, I'm Anderson Cooper!

There is some justification for some of the coverage. Hurricanes are dangerous. The media should convince people to leave flood zones when they're asked to leave, and the media should let people know about hotlines they can call for finding loved ones and what charities they can donate to or volunteer for if they want to help. And, yeah, a minute or two of "windblown reporter" is okay.

But CNN and Fox News spent the entire weekend on the story. The entire weekend. I didn't check MSNBC, but, who does?

In summary, this is how American media treats events:

Hurricane hits US in same place hurricanes always hit US > terrorist attack in London > anything that happens in Baghdad.


At 7:17 PM , Blogger Jon E. said...

It's funny. I'm so used to stupid hurricane TV coverage that I didn't really notice how much time they wasted with it. I was treating it sort of like the storm itself--something people can't control--and just getting upset about how TV news was allocating the 50% of the time they spend on stuff that's not dumb.

But, hey, cut the windblown reporter ssome slack. If it weren't for the wind, most of them wouldn't get blown at all.


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