Friday, October 15, 2010

How I Came to Find Myself Hating the News

I suppose September 11, 1991 is around the time that I started to find the media a bit of a joke. I know it's probably not the most PC thing to say but there's a reason for this.

As part of the 2,996 lives that were lost (19 hijackers, 246 on the planes, 2,606 in the towers, 125 in the pentagon and 2 deaths linked to 9/11 - the latest of which was just last year), the news was reporting that the American stock exchange would have to close.

This same sort of sentiment was expressed during BP's recent oil gusher. Rather than reporting on the environmental impact, they were instead reporting on the loss of income as a result of the environmental impact.

Seriously? The cost of human life or the cost to the environment is now expressed in terms of money.

And before I sit back and am horribly smug about things, the same thing happened in New Zealand regarding the Christchurch earthquake. After their 7.1 magnitude earthquake, no one was killed. To put this into perspective, this is about the same size as the Haitian earthquake. For anyone who doesn't know what Christchurch is like, it has a lot of historical buildings. It also has a horrible sprawling suburbia feeling to it but the tourist bits are nice enough. So the story has got to be on the buildings. But rather than the historical buildings, the news on New Zealand TV was about a cheese shop which, although their part of the building was fine, the rest of it wasn't so the cheese shop was likely going to have to close down.

I have no idea if there's been any damage to the Cathedral in Cathedral Square. The news doesn't seem to want to tell us anything about buildings that the rest of the country might be interested in.

Oh and while I'm on the earthquake, the "aftershocks" haven't stopped yet. I put "aftershocks" in quotes because before the earthquake, these would be considered earthquakes in their own right. They haven't stopped though. They're still around the 3-4 mark. That's astounding. They haven't stopped. That's more than 18,000 quakes and aftershocks. If I were in Christchurch right now I'd be looking for a way out. Go and stay with friends and family some place else. The property can be rebuilt, but the sanity.... I can't imagine trying to sleep through all of that.

Anyway, I did have a point. I'm sure I did. It probably has something to do with the obsession with money in the news today. If it isn't going to cost a certain amount, it's just not news.

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