Wednesday, January 4

The mine debacle

The West Virginia mine story is awful. Watching Geraldo Rivera's shtick is even awfuler. I gave that moron a bye back during Katrina because I felt that his pathetic sensationalism was necessary to wake people up to what was really going on, but now I feel just dirty for ever being a Geraldo apologist. America, I'm sorry. You too, Canada.

And I'm sorry for the shoddy coverage the print media offered of this story. Look. Every front page: "12 miners found alive!" I know the Anchorage Daily News can't expect to get a local beat reporter down to West Virginia to do his own reporting, but honestly. I think the AP is going to need to answer a lot of questions about how this happened. I know everyone was duped -- print, TV, the families, etc. -- and that we should probably blame officials for miscommunicating (the state's governor spread the misinformation that came from the rescue workers, for Pete's sake), but I swear, it's the "Dewey defeats Truman" shit like this that makes the media hard to defend to people who are itching to believe that we can't do anything right. To be fair, now it will be the AP that spreads the correct info, and I'm not blaming the AP for spreading false info, since our stories are only as good as the bullshit fed to us by people in the know (at least in situations like this one where it's virtually impossible for reporters to be in the know).

It's such a frustrating situation and those miners' families have all my sympathy. I'm hoping the press will do a good job cleaning up this mess.


Blogger nashgirl said...

Here's my take on it:

The families learned of the wrong news and immeadiately began celebrating. The situation had changed dramatically for three hours when they thought they had survived. How does a reporter ignore that huge change of events, when everyone that you talk to says the information is correct, even the damn governor?

No reporter would say, "Well, I haven't seen the miners with my own two eyes, so I am going to ignore all these people celebrating and cheering, possibly the biggest story of the year."

Thu Jan 05, 01:09:00 PM  
Blogger theogeo said...

You're absolutely right. I guess I'm just frustrated with the natural limitations of what journalists do. Having to rely on hearsay for everything is just a liability of the news business, I guess, but it still makes for some frustrating errors when that hearsay turns out to be so painfully wrong (Judy Miller, I'm looking at you too).

It makes it so hard to try and convince an already skeptical public to trust us to get them the facts when we have to rely on utterly human, fallible sources to begin with.

Thu Jan 05, 01:22:00 PM  

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