Tragedy and Heartbreak
We have all been following the tragedy in Tallmansville WVa. I would not wish the pain and the heartache that the families of the trapped miners went through in the last 24 hours on my worst enemy. To be told that your loved ones were alive, only to find out later that they were not, is the cruelest of cruel fates.
While many are talking about blaming the mine for poor working conditions (as well they should) and blaming the mine officials for letting the "false hope" get out (officials didn't let it get out someone took it upon himself to give the families the unconfirmed word) or blaming the mine officicals for not correcting the reports that anyone had been found alive (a very valid point, although I understand the reason for not doing so), I don't hear many talking about the press and their role in this sad affair.
Many more talented writers than I have commented on this, but after what happened last night, I can no longer sit silently on the sidelines.
We have heard, time and time again, all the reasons why we should "trust" the legacy media (especially from the print media). We have heard that they have levels of editors, gatekeepers, fact checkers, and that they "know stuff" (link to the actual article is no longer available), blah, blah blah.....
BALONEY! Last night was a shining example of why we should never again trust the legacy media. In the rush to be the first to break a story, someone ran with a partial overheard conversation and told the world (including the very anxious, desperate families) that the remaining 12 miners in Tallmansville were found alive. The soundbytes coming out of WVA tell the story..."an outsider came in and told us....", "they told us they were coming to the church..." The assembled press went into a flurry of activity to get the word out. The headlines were spectacular - "They're Alive" trumpted the Indianapolis Star..."Found Alive" said the Denver Post. Similar jubilant headlines graced the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the NY Times. There was only one small problem...no one bothered to ask the rescue command center if this story was accurate! It was only later, after all of the facts had been uncovered by the mine company that we learned the awful truth...all but one were dead, not alive!
The Strib posted this on their website. Their excuse....everyone else was running it so we had to. The last time I tried that "but everyone else was doing it" my father grounded me for a month and asked "If all of your friends jumpped off of a bridge would you do that too?" in admonishing me for not using my head and instead "following the pack".
We live in a 24 hour news cycle which is good and bad. It is good in that we are no longer slaves to the disinformation that comes out of biased sources like the NY Times and the Star Tribune. However, as we are seeing today, the legacy media's claims of reliability and factuality are laughable! One local lefty blogger, rightly stated that the reader should beware (when reading blogs), but the caveat needs to apply also to the legacy media. As we have seen today, the legacy media is just as guilty of running with a "rumor" as they accuse the blogosphere of being. How typical of them.....
UPDATE AND BUMP! Captain Ed brought up something I had almost forgotten. Remember the reporting on the "toxic water" in New Orleans and the babies being raped in the Superdome? Brian "St. Paul" Ward over at Fraters Libertas has another great post on why we should not believe what we hear out of the MSM and why. You should read them both.
UPDATE II: This is priceless.....a letter writer to the Star Tribune, in asking about their feeble excuse (running the headline that the miners were alive) says:
Our president and entire military and intelligence community, along with the world's entire military and intelligence community, came to the same, honest big mistake about weapons of mass destruction. But according to the Star Tribune editorial page and leading Democrats, our president lied about WMDs.
So, did the Star Tribune lie to us about the miners?
M.N. of Chanhassen - thank you for making my day!