Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Katrinic Nostalgia

I get a sense from the papers and the television that the proverbial Talking Heads are wishing for another Katrina. Maybe this is to be expected. The Heads make their living off of news. The bigger and splashier the item the better the ratings. This creates a classic imbalance of incentives. Since tragedy and misery love ratings as well as company, the Heads have an incentive for such things to be--and therefore a natural inclination to perhaps inflame what they are charged with simply reporting (does anyone else remember the reporter-in-canoe-in-four inches of water?).

Katrina was bad enough all by itself. Still, the hyperbola persists as we are barraged by reports on the "One Year anniversary of the Greatest Disaster in American History." Greatest Disaster? Hardly--not by any measure that I can think of. Still it was bad and it was the biggest story of last year. What is worse, there has not been a bigger story (In the media sense, that is. I would argue that the proxy war with Iran is a more potent drama, but the fact that it is a "proxy" war dims the headlines. But I digress).

Ernesto? A mere blip of a rainmaker captures the imagination of all of the "Stone" wanna-bes hoping for a seminal event to make or brake their journalistic careers. We are left to sift through this drek and egotistic pandering and play-acting. Nothing short of another "Real" disaster will satiate the medias appetites--red in tooth and claw as it is. So they sit, haplessly waiting for tragedy to come to us again. Feeling glee when others face hardship and encouraging them to suffer more.

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