The Media Hype Machine

I'm 100% behind Jeremy:

Shut up about the Shuttle already. I'll probably piss of some folks by saying this, but that's tough. This is my blog.

Shut up about the Shuttle already.

I'm sick of everyone jumping on the tragic double standard's bandwagon. Really sick of it.

How many people die in this country EVERY DAY because of car accidents? What isn't that on the evening news, front page of the paper, and all over the blog world? Are those deaths somehow less important than those of a handfull of astronauts?


So if it's not that these folks were somehow more valuable, what's behind this? The loss of the physical shuttle? I think not. We have a few more in the fleet.

Is it the surprise? I'd hope not. We've all known that spaceflight is dangerous. Heck, most of us were alive for the first shuttle accident. Some even remember the problems that the Apollo and Gemini programs encountered.

I just don't get it.

Of course I feel for the families of the crew--just like anytime I hear of an unfortunate death. But I just don't see the reason for all the publicity and coverage.

Do people really care so much about this or is the media driving this? If it is, how do we get them to stop already?

Go ahead. Flame if you must. But I'd rather you try to enlighten me a bit.

(That's my stress above). I'm not going to talk about it, I'm going to talk about the hype around it. Does that count? Regardless, I don't think Jeremy is upset because you're blogging about the Shuttle. Just like Jeremy gets to say what he wants on his blog, we all get to express our shock or dismay on our blog. I don't think that's his point.

I think what he's saying is he's sick of 24 hour news coverage making every incident a national tragedy or crisis. CNN has turned into "All Crisis. All the Time." As is MSNBC and FoxNews. These channels use the hype they create to bump up viewership and advertising dollars. It's in their best interests to blow up any event into a national disaster. They're no better than Hearst running the fake-picture of The Maine being blown up and starting the Spanish-American war. Actually, in today's nuclear world it's worse. The people in the U.S. are becoming war-mongering, xenophobic psychos because every day they are bombarded with images of war, terrorism and disaster. The Shuttle is tragic, the toxic-scrap spread across half of Texas is dangerous and newsworthy. But it should stop there.

I titled this "The Media Hype Machine" but that's way to broad a stroke. It's the 24 hour news channels and the idiot local stations. I tell my wife when she's watching the news and starts to get a little panicky that armagedden is around the corner that the "evening news" is really the "evening BAD news" where they tell you about all the horrible things people did today. There's 6 BILLION people on the Earth right now, every day a very, very small portion of them are going to do something that is bad or something very tragic is going to happen somewhere. It's just a reality of having so many people. However, the vast majority of the people out there are not psychos, perverts, maniacs, killers and terrorists. This is why on some days, by pure bad luck, there's nothing truly horrible to report, so these stations have no recourse but to invent shit. Like a disaster, "showdown", crisis or incident. (Jon Benet Ramsey?)

The 24 News stations - as well as every little local station - are going to blow the shuttle disaster up as big as they can to try to get you to watch TV. Newspapers too, but who reads newspapers any more? Magazines? Also. It's just the news stations.

By the way, politicians are also going to want to milk something like this as much as they can. So be sure to watch for constant reports on the situation from the White House or wherever. It's in Bush's best interest to make himself look like a strong leader, even though he's probably playing video games in his caravan or watching cartoons or something (Clinton would be getting a blowjob from an intern. Same thing.)

But that's it on this topic. Just turn off the TV today.


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