July 23, 2005

The Underground

More bombs in London -- and the local Bay Area TV news plays the story second behind a court decision about one of the Governator's ballot initiatives. Of the maybe five minutes given to the London story, three were dedicated to a couple of mini-stories about the bombing's effects on the Bay Area (no direct effect at all, but never mind -- lots of shots of BART trains running through downtown Oaktown to keep us locals feeling important and threatened). Another self-congratulatory minute or so was dedicated to showing how the Bay Area was helping London (not at all, but we Bay Areans like to think of ourselves as very "giving" people...).

For most of America, I'd guess, international news is only a pretext for talking about America; this is particularly true of California, where almost any event can be turned into a pretext to talk about ourselves.

(The various local and national media here always call the London Underground "the subway" (as in "A bomb went off in the London Subway this morning...". For me it's about as jarring (and, in context, as unprofessional) as hearing the New York subway referred to as "the New York Metro" (or BART called "the Underground")).


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