Saturday, March 26, 2005

News that isn't covered so A** can be

From Hugh Hewitt regarding Aaron Brown’s comments that lack of coverage on the Red Lake school shootings didn’t have anything to do with the victims being Native American.

Mr. Hewitt opines:
I have noted the disparity in coverage between other school tragedies and the one in Minnesota, and speculated that remoteness, the lack of video, and the fact that the slayings involved Native Americans may have all contributed what is an obviously less pervasive coverage of the attack than attached to Columbine. Other factors include the Schiavo coverage and the fact that this is not the first school massacre, or even the second or third. Brown's show had devoted a large amount of time to the murders, but somebody at CNN has got to put Brown on a prompter leash, as the picture is not "cool," and the "Playing the story hard" is pseudo-insider talk intended to what, impress his eight viewers inside CNN? Further, there is a legitimate question about the scale of the coverage, and dismissing the idea that the ethnicity of the victims might play a role in that scale is to pardon yourself out of knee-jerk arrogance. Why not at least compare the number of minutes CNN devoted to Columbine on the day after that tragedy with the number of minutes concerning Red Lake broadcast yesterday before issuing the defensively dismissive "Come on?"

I don’t pretend to understand why a story gets preferential treatment when it comes to the amount of air time, but I know that issues of importance to me are usually last in line to be aired. This issue of school shootings should be the community topic until we come to our senses about how people are treated in this society. Unfortunately, it will probably see the same level of emphasis as the need for equitable voting practices.

It is possible that the effort Tom DeLay has been making to project a positive image could have been undermined by the very mention of Native Americans, or the news media preferred to highlight a type of suffering that didn’t require Americans to think about the aura of hopelessness that permeates vast segments of our society. It is always easier to look at a situation like Terri Schiavo’s where the fault and blame can righteously be assigned to everyone in the husband’s camp.

There are numerous stories that could (and should) be told, but who really cares if Paul Wolfowitz has a mistress? After all Karl and Scotty might have one also.

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