The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Thursday, January 06, 2005

Tsunami: let's be clear who the real victims are...

Some of the preening pampered pets of American (I laughingly call) TV journalism, wrenched from family (or not-so-family) seasonal festivities to wade amongst Asian corpses, are playing the martyr card, according to a USA Today piece.

Those actually bereaved function as Ikettes to highlight the real tragedy of the situation: the grief and anguish of American TV hacks.

Because, let's face it: Killer #1 - pretty much none of the unhappy little brown brothers speaks English [1], and translations really kill a segment (subtitles? are you French or something?)

And, it's the media, stupid! So American onscreen talent has to mediate. Feel the gooks' pain. (Is this blouse too low-cut?)

And, thank God for the tourists! How else would the hacks - especially those servicing cable - fill their slots?

If ever you find yourself in a moment of weakness prepared to give the 'profession' of journalism [2] the benefit of the doubt, pull up the USAT piece and have a change of heart.

Reluctantly, I offer house-room to a typical example:
The situation is so bleak that "you see a fellow journalist out on the street and you say, 'Are you OK?' " says CBS News correspondent Lee Cowan in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where about 30,000 people died.

"You wish you could do a lot more," says Cowan, 39, who has given cash to survivors and watched other reporters do the same. "There's a lot of that going on.

"There's sort of a helplessness. Sure, there's the aspect of getting the story out so that more help can flow in, but you want to do more than send pictures home. But when you start helping one person, there's another down the road, and another and another. You don't know where to start or where to end."

I feel your pain, man - and I mean that most sincerely, folks...

  1. And let's not fail to salute Edward Behr and his (or his publishers') sempiternal tribute to the true spirit of journalism, Anyone Here Been Raped and Speaks English? That title alone worth a hundred Watergates!

  2. Not all journalists are the same, of course. Some do good work for little reward and less recognition. But that type, I'm thinking, tends not to appear on TV news.

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