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Friday Night Thoughts

Although I first saw an online news posting about the explosion in West, Texas on Wednesday night, I had no idea of the severity of the incident, and I didn’t research the matter in much depth.  When I first heard news reports about the story on Thursday morning, though, I was struck by the fact that the reporters and the news networks almost resented having to take time away from covering this week’s events in Boston to report on the disastrous accident in Texas.

I wasn’t the only one to notice.    Yesterday Ace and Mary Katherine Ham noted a New York Times piece faulting Fox News for focusing on the events in West, Texas rather than reporting on the failure of the gun legislation in the Senate on Wednesday.  Writing in the New York Times,  Brian Stelter lamented: “While most of [MSNBC’s] ‘Joe’ was dedicated to guns on Thursday, Fox’s morning show, ‘Fox & Friends,’ didn’t mention the word once. It focused instead on news about a Texas fertilizer plant explosion.”

Ace’s characterization of the complaint gets at it perfectly:

The media here documents its own sick-making bias and arrogance but instead of understanding their own words — we ignored the destruction of an entire town to focus only on the minor heartburn suffered by our Liberal Messiah — they use it as a bludgeon for criticizing Fox.

See, Fox did wrong by thinking the lives in West, Texas mattered.

And as Thursday moved into Friday, that has only continued to be the case.  Granted, the story of a manhunt for a suspected terrorist is more dramatic, particularly when most of a major urban area is ordered to go on lockdown and to stay indoors.

But when it comes to the magnitude of what happened in West, Texas Wednesday night compared with what happened in Boston on Monday, what happened in Texas is many times worse, not only in terms of deaths, but also in terms of destruction and lives uprooted.  At this time, the death toll in Texas stands at 14 (including five volunteer firefighters and four emergency service workers) with 60 people still unaccounted for.  Three fire trucks were destroyed, at least 50 homes were damaged or destroyed, and at least 200 other people were injured.

An act of evil which terrorizes and disrupts a major city is certainly important.  What happened in Texas, though, is just as important, as the consequences will likely be much more devastating for the lives of those involved and for the entire community, and yet the media is doing its best to bury the story, just as the media and the Obama administration did its best to deny that a terrorist incident in Texas 4 1/2 years ago was actually a terrorist incident.  How many people even knew that three weeks ago, the Army formally declined to give Purple Hearts to Fort Hood shooting victims?

To listen to most of the media this week, it should be abundantly clear that some lives and some places are clearly more equal than others.  And the lives and livelihoods of a bunch of folks in a tiny town in rural Texas aren’t viewed as amounting to much.

UPDATE:  Assistant Village Idiot has some related thoughts (about Boston’s importance to the media, that is, not about their lack of interest in Texas) here.  This paragraph stands out as a key reflection of the media’s insularity about its focus on the Northeast:

I admit, a few dead and almost 200 injured is a big deal.  But the shared mentality is of the news, the politicians, and the teams combining to make it look more universal than it actually is.  OMG, the kid was from Dorchester!  Why, I go past Dorchester a lot!  A BU grad student! Oh no!  I knew some BU grad students once!

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83 Comments

  1. No, Vince. You have utterly failed to prove that the media blackout of the Gosnell trial is based on anything other than political bias and you’ve refused to respond to legitimate, relevant questions (e.g. what was happening on March 18th?) You’ve offered…let’s see…you own bald assertions, which aren’t evidence. And what else…CNN had a week of higher ratings (though still dismal compared to Fox) because hmmm…the biggest terrorist attack on US soil since 9/11 was happening.

    FAIL. Now go away, you ignorant drone.

    Comment by Sean A — April 22, 2013 @ 3:20 pm - April 22, 2013

  2. Answer this question if you can: where were CNN; MSNBC; CBS; NBC; ABC; NYT; WaPo; etc. on March 18th?

    I don’t know where I was on March 18th, but I do distinctly remember watching Anderson Cooper sometime after and him acknowledging the lack of coverage from the MSM on the Gosnell matter, while going into detail about the charges being leveled against the doctor.

    I, for one, believe the Gosnell trial should be receiving MORE coverage from ALL networks. My theory is that the ratings potential IS NOT THERE. Americans in general do not want to watch a trial of a cruel and revolting abortionist, because TALKING ABOUT ABORTION MAKES THEM FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE. And it makes the MSM uncomfortable. And the MSM is not going to put themselves in the position of being uncomfortable if there is no net financial gain, because the MSM is a business–a slightly biased business for sure–but a BUSINESS NONE-THE-LESS.

    Capice?

    I do not excuse the MSM. I’m only calling out things for how they actually are.

    I invite you to watch the documentary Lake of Fire, an unflinching look at abortion from BOTH sides of the political spectrum. The balanced, intelligent assessment of the issue made a whopping $25,317 at the box-office, because, you know, pro-lifers and pro-choicers are all clamoring for a comprehensive examination of the debate.

    Regards,
    Vince S.

    Comment by Regards, Vince S. — April 22, 2013 @ 3:28 pm - April 22, 2013

  3. Sean A,

    I’ve made my case.

    You’ve made yours.

    I keep presenting numbers. And you keep covering your eyes. Those of intelligence can decide for themselves who failed and succeeded at making their points.

    Regards,
    Vince S.

    Comment by Regards, Vince S. — April 22, 2013 @ 3:33 pm - April 22, 2013

  4. Regards,
    Vince S.

    Either imitation is the most sincerest form of flattery, or Vince is probably not capable of a single original thought in his pointy head.

    I’ll opt for the latter.

    Regards (since 2002),
    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — April 22, 2013 @ 4:34 pm - April 22, 2013

  5. I believe I made a case in this thread that is quite original. And coherent. And solid.

    Peter H. responds: “not capable of a single original thought in his pointy head.”

    To quote the recently quoted Margaret Thatcher (h/t to Dan Blatt, as well as Peter H.):

    I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.

    Regards (since 2012),
    Vince S.

    Comment by Regards, Vince S. — April 22, 2013 @ 4:41 pm - April 22, 2013

  6. Again, Vince, you are using my verbiage to try to appear intellectual.

    Nice try.

    Regards,
    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — April 22, 2013 @ 4:42 pm - April 22, 2013

  7. Actually, I’m using Margaret Thatcher’s verbiage to inform you that you have egg on your face.

    Cheers.

    Regards (since 2012),
    Vince S.

    Comment by Regards, Vince S. — April 22, 2013 @ 4:47 pm - April 22, 2013

  8. Here’s what’s really important.

    @anthonyweiner

    Comment by Richard Bell — April 22, 2013 @ 5:21 pm - April 22, 2013

  9. Vince, you probably don’t get it, but there is a difference between making a rude comment and a pointed observation. I suggest you have a lot to learn.

    Regards,
    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — April 22, 2013 @ 5:43 pm - April 22, 2013

  10. Peter, you seem to be obsessed with the word “point.” (“pointy head”; “pointed”) Ironically, you have yet to make one.

    Regards (since 2012),
    Vince S.

    Comment by Regards, Vince S. — April 22, 2013 @ 5:48 pm - April 22, 2013

  11. Vince, dear, I refuse to engage in a battle of wits with an unarmed troll.

    Regards,
    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — April 22, 2013 @ 5:50 pm - April 22, 2013

  12. Again, I refer you to the aforementioned Thatcher quote you’re already familiar with. Or are you somehow immune (“do as I say, not as I do”).

    I’ve provided a sound argument supported by valid data. And rather than engage an intelligent debate, you have resorted to name calling.

    Regards,
    Vince S.

    Comment by Vince Smetana — April 22, 2013 @ 6:29 pm - April 22, 2013

  13. I’ve provided a sound argument supported by valid data.

    “I reject your reality and substitute the kool-aid” isn’t valid data, no matter how loudly MSNBC pisses and moans.

    And rather than engage an intelligent debate, you have resorted to name calling.

    I never claimed to be interested in debating you. I’m not particularly interested in debating anyone online, least of all some preening, self-important douche who trolls opposition websites under color of “debate.” To be even more frank, I could really give a shit about anything you have to say, snatch. And please, spare us the bleating about your noble intent. You’re basically an annoyance with a braodband connection, which is pretty much what you set out to accomplish in the first place.,

    As for the name-calling…well, I’m crestfallen to learn I have to abandon all hope of ever earning your respect. I’ll toss and turn tonight. Seriously, you guys!

    Now, go get your fuckin’ shine box.

    Comment by My Sharia Moor — April 22, 2013 @ 7:01 pm - April 22, 2013

  14. I’ve read through all the comments here and think that you have all missed the most important point mentioned by Kurt. It isn’t the relative importance of West v Boston but rather the relative importance of West v failure of gun legislation. The NYT critisized Fox for covering West when it should have been covering the gun vote. Surely that is a much clearer proof of bias.

    Comment by LondonTrader — April 22, 2013 @ 7:23 pm - April 22, 2013

  15. The NYT critisized Fox for covering West when it should have been covering the gun vote. Surely that is a much clearer proof of bias.

    I agree. That is clear proof of the bias that has long plagued the NYT.

    Comment by Ignatius — April 22, 2013 @ 8:22 pm - April 22, 2013

  16. The NYT critisized Fox for covering West when it should have been covering the gun vote. Surely that is a much clearer proof of bias.

    Yes, that is the central point of this thesis.

    Yes, it’s a good and worthwhile point to make.

    Maybe the reason the thread drifted is because it is so inarguable.

    Comment by V the K — April 22, 2013 @ 8:27 pm - April 22, 2013

  17. Vinc, I know this dead horse has been pretty well beat up, but I wonder what your response is to the following, considering some of your lame thinking???

    Ratings: Fox Number One In All Cable, MSNBC Collapses

    246

    1

    679

    ——————————————————————————–

    Email Article
    Print ArticleSend a Tip

    by John Nolte23 Apr 2013, 9:37 AM PDT64post a comment View Discussion

    In all of cable, not just cable news, Fox News was the most-watched channel throughout all of last week. During the Boston bombings and subsequent manhunt, the new “Most Trusted Name In News” averaged 2.874 million viewers during primetime, and 1.77 million in total day.

    CNN came in a distant third with 1.985 million and 1.329 million respectively.

    Because no one turns to left-wing talk radio when major news is breaking, MSNBC humiliated itself with a 19th place showing. Fewer than a million viewers tuned in in primetime, and fewer than 600,000 in total day.

    This is not a small deal, either. Once upon a time CNN was America’s news outlet when major news broke. Even as Fox has overtaken CNN in recent years, that dynamic would flip during major news events. Obviously, that is no longer the case.

    CNN certainly didn’t help their situation throughout last week as the network became a laughingstock over flubs both big and small.

    MSNBC, obviously, is paying for a choice they made long ago to get out of the news business. Today the network is nothing more than left-wing talk radio with video and smug hosts, many of whom are starting to all look alike.

    Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC

    Comment by mixitup — April 23, 2013 @ 4:19 pm - April 23, 2013

  18. MixItUp,
    I was clear about FOX being the #1 news network.

    The numbers I posted showed FOX continue to claim the #1 position by a wide margin.

    I did not dispute that overall viewership increased in ALL networks.

    Not all FOX viewers watch FOX everyday. The same goes for CNN. Viewership increased overall because of the Boston/West, Texas events.

    Nothing you just posted disputes what I said or the points I was making.

    Comment by Regards, Vince S. — April 23, 2013 @ 5:14 pm - April 23, 2013

  19. That is not how I read your many comments.

    But, that is why we all have a “belly button.”

    The horse is dead, let’s give it a proper burial. Kurt got a spirited response to his post, which is, I am sure, one of the aims of this or any opinion blog.

    Job well done!!!!

    Comment by mixitup — April 23, 2013 @ 7:20 pm - April 23, 2013

  20. The factual TV-rating evidence I provided was not “lame,” to borrow a phrase from you. Therefore, I can only ascertain that you did not read my more pertinent comments, or you simply didn’t comprehend them.

    Job well done.

    Comment by Regards, Vince S. — April 23, 2013 @ 7:54 pm - April 23, 2013

  21. The factual TV-rating evidence I provided was not “lame,” to borrow a phrase from you.

    Ummm..yes, it was. Sorry.

    Comment by My Sharia Moor — April 25, 2013 @ 5:42 am - April 25, 2013

  22. Instead of apologizing, you might actually try refuting the evidence, Eric Olsen.

    Comment by Regards, Vince S. — April 25, 2013 @ 10:19 am - April 25, 2013

  23. Instead of apologizing, you might actually try refuting the evidence, Eric Olsen.

    Rrrreally????

    Using my real name is supposed to be some sort of “smack-down?”

    My Lord, you really are quite the adolescent, aren’t you? 🙂

    Comment by My Sharia Moor — April 25, 2013 @ 10:54 am - April 25, 2013

  24. Eric Olsen, when you had administrative powers at GP and exposed details about my personal life on this site, one might describe it as *adolescent* behavior: acting out like a vindictive kid with whatever is readily available, for not getting what you want.

    I use your name to remind myself of what kind of person you are and the lack of repentance which lies underneath.

    Comment by Regards, Vince S. — April 25, 2013 @ 11:16 am - April 25, 2013

  25. Oh, I don’t deny my own little post-adolescent temper tantrums. Not at all.

    The difference between you and me, though, is that I never pretended to get all butt-hurt about it, and claim my actions as empirical evidence that somehow, your pathetic, narcissistic, self-absorbed worldview was right all along.

    Its called hypocrisy, sweetheart. Might wanna look it up.

    Comment by My Sharia Moor — April 25, 2013 @ 11:24 am - April 25, 2013

  26. It’s called apologizing and taking responsible for one’s actions. You might want to actually own up. Thanks.

    Comment by Regards, Vince S. — April 25, 2013 @ 11:42 am - April 25, 2013

  27. It’s called apologizing and taking responsible for one’s actions. You might want to actually own up. Thanks.

    Apology means actually feeling remorse for one’s actions.

    Adherents of your worldview spent over a decade pissing on everything even remotely related to the War on Terror, then conveniently forgot all about your objections when the Mocha Messiah landed his ass in the White House and only escalated the whole f*cking thing after having the balls to accept the Nobel F*cking PEACE Prize a few hours earlier.

    You make no apology for your hypocrisy, which renders your argument moot, and worthy of about as much respect as you have for your own convictions.

    My apology, therefore, will be forthcoming as soon as you arrange for a month-long handjob for me, to be administered by 15 people to be selected by me after an online search brought to you by Google and Koch Bros., Inc.

    You putz.

    Comment by My Sharia Moor — April 25, 2013 @ 11:54 am - April 25, 2013

  28. My apology, therefore, will be forthcoming as soon as you arrange for a month-long handjob for me, to be administered by 15 people to be selected by me after an online search brought to you by Google and Koch Bros., Inc.

    TMI

    Comment by Regards, Vince S. — April 25, 2013 @ 12:00 pm - April 25, 2013

  29. TMI? Maybe. Your problem, not mine.

    Comment by My Sharia Moor — April 25, 2013 @ 12:08 pm - April 25, 2013

  30. You’ve demonstrated plenty that constitutes as “your problem.”

    Comment by Regards, Vince S. — April 25, 2013 @ 12:25 pm - April 25, 2013

  31. You’ve demonstrated plenty that constitutes as “your problem.”

    You’re so cuuuute when you hold your firsts like that!!!

    Comment by My Sharia Moor — April 25, 2013 @ 12:53 pm - April 25, 2013

  32. Eric Olsen, when you had administrative powers at GP and exposed details about my personal life on this site, one might describe it as *adolescent* behavior: acting out like a vindictive kid with whatever is readily available, for not getting what you want.

    Comment by Regards, Vince S. — April 25, 2013 @ 11:16 am – April 25, 2013

    But had he made cracks about your cholesterol level and your relatives in politics, that would have been just kosher dandy.

    LOL.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — April 25, 2013 @ 1:23 pm - April 25, 2013

  33. It appears that Smegmasnatch has more hang-ups than Bawney Fwank’s answering machine.

    Just sayin’ is all.

    Regards,
    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — April 25, 2013 @ 1:24 pm - April 25, 2013

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