Thursday, January 21, 2010

Because It Sells, That's Why

   I'm not real happy with the way this mess in Haiti is getting covered on TV.  To what end will it serve to show the endless footage of the rescued, the injured, the lost souls wandering the street still caked in the cement dust since water is so scarce?
   Where are the political analysts to help the rest of the world understand the history behind the events that caused Haiti to be in shambles even before last week's earthquake? 
    Oh, I'm sorry. They're on NPR, PBS,  the foreign networks and some websites such as .  The job of the networks and CNN and Fox is to sell detergent, personal care products, cars, and TVs so they can increase their revenue and get prettier anchors in preparation for the Even Bigger One that threatens to knock California off the map. As if those trinkets could save anyone. They appeal to the perverse part of human nature that slows down to stare at car wrecks despite our parents' admonishments not to do so. 
   Whether it's the morning shows or the evening news, there seems to be an informal competition to see who can report the same story in the most sensational method possible. It's not just the humanitarian or natural disasters that have dragged the above outlets down to the same level as the tabloids. It's the sleazy stories inherent in the political world, items from the world of entertainment that detract from the real issues of the day (yes, Michael Jackson's passing was sad and of note because of his enormous fan base, but tying up coverage of the health care overhaul and the last weeks of Ted Kennedy's life was inexcusable). 
    The time for mourning the initial shock has gone, and we need to get into the nitty-gritty of the world community doing what is right and proper to literally and figuratively stabilize the situation. 

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