On the Balcony in the Media
I'm having some difficulty understanding why a balcony collapse is national headline news. Was an important political figure injured in the accident? Have balconies been collapsing at a high rate? Will there be a massive balcony recall? Did militarized police in tacticool gear and Bearcat armored-vehicles pull the balcony down in search of armed shoplifters? Or maybe it was an ISIS suicide bomber with explosives concealed in his sneakers to blame? There's never a drone around when you need one. Perhaps you fancy it was an inside job? The report will doubtless be heavily redacted, so we may never know the whole story.
I realize it may be crass to make light of such a tragic event. People have been seriously hurt and a number have died. It's terrible. Obviously the matter is newsworthy—in San Francisco and maybe Ireland. There is no immediately apparent reason why I need to know about any of this in New Jersey by way of every news outlet available. It's a caullous sensationalism which titillates us with gore while distracting from more pressing current events such as:
- The nation's failing infrastructure (balconies not withstanding, as the case may be).
- The rise of vast income inequality and destruction of the middleclass in America, and how that negatively impacts the overall economy.
- Presidential candidates expect to raise BILLIONS in campaign funds for the 2016 elections, and how this might have something to do with why we find ourselves at item #2.
- Rachel Dolezal, president of the NAACP chapter in Spokane, Washington, first new she was black at five years old, which opens a huge can of beans I won't dip my spoon into here.
Yes, it's tragic, but a balcony collapse is not national headline news. Also, the Today Show is awful. Awful, awful, awful. I've been biting my tongue on that for a long time.