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:

  1. The nation's failing infrastructure (balconies not withstanding, as the case may be).
  2. The rise of vast income inequality and destruction of the middleclass in America, and how that negatively impacts the overall economy.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.