It just gets better and better...

Gary Lawrence Murphy garym@canada.com
04 Oct 2001 13:41:07 -0400


>>>>> "s" == sateesh narahari <narahari@hotmail.com> writes:

    >> --- if the report had been of US soldiers in some
    >> Pakistani air base having an epidemic of ebola-51, that's
    >> different.
    >> 
    s> Is a US soldier life any more important than a poor peasant in
    s> afghanistan?.  sorry, I don't think so and I hope you are not
    s> indicating it.

Not at all, but in this context, was Fox reporting about a few deaths
from a 50-year-old disease or was the implication that ebola-51 might
have been intentionally deployed as a weapon?  

You're very right in pointing out that Jeff's post made no mention of
any rumours of intent behind that news, and I've also re-read Jeff's
post in a different voice and can now see that by "what's next?" he
means "how low are the media willing to go to inflate/fabricate a
story?"

    s> Any human catastrophe needs reporting and is concerning.

It's a matter of scale and scope.  The recent equal number of deaths
due to gasoline sniffing among the native children along the Labrador
coast was indeed tragic, but I did not expect the story to be covered
on the Bombay evening news unless it had some direct consequence for
the citizens of Bombay (it does, but that's waxing metaphysical). It
made national Canadian news, of course, and prompted direct action by
the federal and provincial governments that would have both continued
to overlook the 'problem' had the media ignored it.

Now, suppose a Canadian pop star was outrageously popular in India,
and if that pop star advocated sniffing gasoline to the children of
India, /then/ yes, I would consider those local Labrador deaths likely
to make the Bombay evening news.  Similarly, if this ebola-51 news
item was in fact a call to once and for all eradicate the deadly
disease, even if it hides up along the deep recesses of the Kabul
river, then yes, it should make Fox.

It's not that we don't care, it's just that the newscast is only 30
minutes long.  Just reading off the names of every North American
homeless person who will die of exposure this winter would fill all 5
months of news casts.  What then do we do for the schoolboy who was
beaten to death for being Muslim?

-- 
Gary Lawrence Murphy <garym@teledyn.com> TeleDynamics Communications Inc
Business Innovations Through Open Source Systems: http://www.teledyn.com
"Computers are useless.  They can only give you answers."(Pablo Picasso)