Friday, May 30, 2008

I Am Not Near The Crane

It amazes me which news items are kept local and which ones are deemed worthy of being broadcast on stations outside of New York.

A crane collapsed today. A building crane. It's nowhere near me. Well... it's about 2 miles away, but two miles away in NYC may as well be the next state over.

In suburbia, 2 miles away is next door. You drive two miles in a heartbeat. In the city, we tend to travel directly to where we work or have appointments, and home. That's it. Back and forth. Straight line. Not a lot of deviation. And that little two mile trip can take 45 minutes each way.

I do not work, live, have appointments, or even know of any good restaurants near the area of the crane accident. Not that it isn't a lovely neighborhood. I'm sure it is. But there is no reason why I would have been aimlessly wandering around that area, any more than there'd be a reason for me to have been wandering around a crane accident in Connecticut, Cairo, or Calcutta today.

Construction accidents happen all over the world, everywhere, every day, but they don't make the news and nobody hears about them. This is not the first crane to collapse at a construction site. It's probably not even the first crane to collapse at a construction site today. But because this one is in the news, this is what people focus on and suddenly think must be more significant or far reaching than the millions of other unreported accidents taking place each day. Of all the accidents that took place nowhere near me today, THIS must be one I was at. Nobody calls or writes on a daily basis to say "I'm just checking because unreported construction accidents happen every day, everywhere, and I wanted to know if one happened by YOU today." (Which in an odd way, wouldn't bother me so much because that would at least be consistent and not influenced by media bias.)

But, one specific accident makes it onto the news, and apparently not just the local news but the news in other states, and all of a sudden, people who know I live nowhere near there are wondering if this was the day I decided to wander directly under that building.

Does anybody else have a problem with FLORIDA knowing that a crane collapsed in New York today? I mean not that this isn't a tragedy for the people involved, but what logic or purpose is served by Florida knowing about a construction accident in New York? I'm pretty sure no New York news stations featured any of Florida's accidents today. (And there are a lot of old people in Florida so you know there were accidents to report!) So why was this and only this specific accident chosen to be featured as a major news story today? Florida had nothing better to report? How about OUR ILLEGAL WAR? I realize that in the grand scheme of things, the illegal dealings of our government, the loss of civil liberties, and the deaths of thousands of innocent people both here and abroad are minor considerations when weighed against a construction accident in NYC, but how about reporting nationally on that for a change? -Then I can have people calling to ask if I was drafted into the CIA.

* Note: This is not meant, in any way, to sound unappreciative of the people who cared enough to see if I was alive today. It's more about my frustration with the enormous effect that the media has on the national psyche. Media distorts the way the average person thinks. If only this power could be used for good...



Anonymous said...

VERY good point..
Slow news day:
Crane collapse in NY
Angelina had twins in France
Tribe photographed in Amazon
Kirk Douglas went down a slide...

Yep priorities are in line!

Alice said...

SO VERY TRUE. i often at a loss as to why certain stories end up being nationally reported, when others are swept under the rug. like illegal wars and gov't indiscretions.... gah. frustrating indeed. :-P

Joe said...

Thank goodness you are okay!

Vanessa said...

This happened to me too when I lived there. The news-making item was nowhere near me, yet everyone was sure I was dead. Strange!

Melissa said...

MSJ, Alice, Vanessa: Whatever the news says is important, people think *is* important. It's a shame it's not used to make people focus on things that might actually help them.

Joe: Thank goodness YOU'RE ok too! :)