Thursday, September 01, 2005

Why I Hate Television, especially News Programs

I don't have cable television. I largely unplugged after 9-11, horrified by the sensationalistic, fast-paced, trauma-loving reporting. My news of Katrina comes from Za's family, blogs, newspapers, and NPR/BBC. From these sources, I have been clear that this is a total and utter disaster, with ruin, heartache, death and destruction. I know of the looting, the violent chaos, and I also know of the heroism, charity, and sacrifice. From Za I know that the majority of New Orleans is poor and black. Those who have money flaunt it, form exclusive societies and can be brutally racist. The latter evacuted, and many of the former couldn't.

I accidentally caught the news last night. I was working out around 8 pm and every tv in the place was blaring fast-paced, high adrenaline, fear inducing media programs. I was just plain raw by the time I left the gym. For the entire hour that I was on the bike, I saw the same 7-8 segments of black people stealing soda, chips, diapers, flotable mattresses and, then, TVs. It didn't matter what the newsanchors were saying. The only message they were selling was that New Orleans was under siege by thug-like black people stealing TVs from vulnerable shop owners. Interestingly, the stories (paired with these images) would be about white people who feared the black looters, so they boarded themselves up into their own houses and drowned to save their salt and pepper shaker collection.

"And Now We Are in Hell," WaPo
"Did New Orleans Catastrophe Have to Happen? Editor and Publisher Online
Slideshow: Yahoo news
Median income of places hit: NYTimes
"On Stewardship," Shakespeare's Sister
"My Stupid Opinion," BlondeSense
"Katrina 4" Echnidne of the Snakes
"I'm Just Glad I Saw It," The Guardian