January 01, 2005


"This week nature seems amoral and viciously cruel" (David Brooks in today's NYT). No, humans are cruel; nature just is.

And later: "Somehow [just love that 'somehow' -- JL] it's wrong to turn this event into a good-news story so we can all feel warm this holiday season. It's wrong to turn it into a story about us, who gave, rather than them, whose lives were ruined". The NYT, to its great credit, has mostly avoided this, but as I wrote last week just after the news broke (and then didn't bother publishing -- it just seemed like a too-easy target):

Tens of thousands of people die as tsunamis flood the Asian coastal lowlands. Last night's local TV news spent less than two minutes on the actual events and the aftermath, then took nearly ten self-congratulatory minutes to cover local Bay Area efforts to help.

At least it was the first item on the news; in March 2004, after nearly 200 people were killed in multiple terrorist bombings in Spain, local TV station KTVU reported the story in the third segment of the 10pm news at 10.25, immediately after an item about three teenagers who had to be rescued from the surf in front of the Cliff House.


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