Tuesday, May 30, 2006
So I was kind of out of it this weekend as it was time for the wife and I to take our annual Peyote Weekend out in the desert (this year was a good one as I saw: dead grandfather, talking snake, flying squadron of ostriches, many colors that do not exist in the visible spectrum, plus I drew what I thought was an impressionistic masterpiece in the sand that later turned out to be a stick figure peeing), but I did manage to hear something about a horrendous earthquake in Indonesia that killed thousands of people. Kind of a downer after a full mescaline weekend, but that's the way of the world, right?
I turned on my TV this morning to get some details and the lead story everywhere: JOURNALISTS ATTACKED!
People in Baghdad affected by violence in the form of an improvised explosive device?! Lawks!
I swear the lead stories they teased at the opening of the Today show on NBC this morning were 1) Wounded journalists 2) poison ivy and 3) the annoying delay between pushing the button and taking the picture on a digital camera. Not kidding. Wish I were.
I know that journalists getting blown up is sad and all, but really, more newsworthy than 6,000 dead Indonesians? I get that the Indonesians are foreigners, but still, the sheer numbers...
I also get that a journalist's favorite word is "colleague." There's nothing a journalist loves more than talking about their "colleagues" when reporting a news story, because it usually means somebody who is not them has seriously fucked something up.
Stories like this and the ABC World News Tonight guy who got blown up all get WAY over-reported because they hit newsrooms where everyone goes "Oh my God, that could have been ME!" Then they do what they hope others would do for THEM if they got blown up by an Iraqi IED, that is plaster their faces all over every station and hail them as brave, brave heroes who never shied away from a story rather than one of hundreds who got blown up in Iraq that day because they were standing at the wrong place at the wrong time.
I'm not discounting the horror of this incident with the journalists. I know it's dangerous to be there. Any loss of life is unpleasant and tragic, but that means ANY loss of life, not just the ones that belonged to people you sat two tables over from at a Press Club function.
But look, journalists, you don't have to go to Iraq and get blown up to prove to me that you're brave. Do good research, ask honest questions and demand clear answers. That's not nearly as hard AND you get to sleep in your own bed next to your spouse at the end of the day. We won't think you're pussies if you don't go. It's not like you're the Republican twenty-something male bloggers who DEMAND that we see this Iraq thing through to its bloody end while never once thinking of actually signing up to help. Unlike them, you can actually still DO something without stepping into harm's way.
And I'll even say nice things about you without waiting for you to get blown up first. Honest. Just because I can't think of anything now doesn't mean it isn't possible.
This post on the Narcissus Scale: 9.7