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, March 24, 2005
 

The spirit of Jayson 'Lay-Z-Boy' Blair lives on


I've seen the suggestion in DEWDROP circles that the difference betweeen the volume and intensity of the coverage of the slaughter at the high school on the Red Lake, MN Chippewa reservation and that of the 1999 shootings at Columbine is explained by race: dead Indians don't cut it is the charge.

The Chicago Tribune has a different explanation:
what also made Columbine stand out--apart from the death toll of 13 (not including the two killers)--was that it played out, at least partly, on television. The story broke just after noon Central Standard Time on a Tuesday in late April in a major metropolitan area (Denver).

Red Lake, Minn., by comparison, is the other side of the moon. The school shootings happened just after 3 p.m. Monday, and the first sketchy reports didn't reach newsrooms until about an hour later.

Ted Gregory and Chuck Berman, the Tribune reporter and photographer who covered the slayings, didn't reach Bemidji, Minn., the nearest town of any size to Red Lake, until close to 3 a.m.


Now, Mapquest says that the distance by road from Chicago to Bemidji is 634 miles and estimates around 11 hours travel by road.

But the Tribune hacks didn't need to hit the road: the company could have hired a plane. Or a helicopter.

(Do these people actually read what they write before printing it?)

The piece goes on:
So accustomed have we become to seeing video--the Rodney King tapes; Timothy McVeigh's truck bomb; astronauts in space; an escaped criminal fleeing the rabbit's warren of court buildings and parking garages in downtown Atlanta; airplanes crashing into the twin towers of New York's World Trade Center--that we almost take for granted that it will be there. And we become irritated and suspicious when it is not.

Not quite as irritated and suspicious as when reading hacks making dumb excuses for their rags' pisspoor performance!


MORE

Not much effort 'uncovers' Bemidji-Beltrami County Airport, which offers a 6,500 feet runway that might have helped journos intent on getting to the scene ASAP.


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