Friday, March 18, 2011

TFP Column: Gawker's Block

Though I don't spend time behind the wheel lately, the memories of being locked in gridlock conditions across the country still leave a bittersweet. Far more frustrating than the nonsense of simply having too many people on the road at the same time however, is finding that your lack of vehicular progress comes not from bad weather or road repair, but from the prurient interest of your fellow drivers in the misfortunes of others on the roadway who have become involved in an accident.

It was with this in mind, that I found myself once more wondering about the mainstream media and the viewers who seem mesmerized by the depiction of destruction and carnage from the non-stop coverage of the earthquake and tsunami that recently struck Japan.
I found myself both angered and sickened by the incessant parade of images of this tragedy in the name of 'good television' and the apparently infinite capacity for so many to rapturously gaze upon the destruction.

I wondered if, like the gawkers on the highway, some would lose sight of the other obligations that require continued focus (Congress is after all, in session). A sense of almost tragic outrage over this potential insight led me to pen this week's effort for the web page of the Toledo Free Press, "Gawker's Block". Putting this on paper for me was the release of something equivalent to road rage, and I hope a signpost for some to keep your eyes on the road ahead, lest another accident involving those much closer to home be caused.

Fortunately for all of you, there will be other efforts in this week's TFP far more positive and uplifting. I hope that you will all take the time to read this week's edition of Toledo's largest Sunday circulation newspaper, the Toledo Free Press.

1 comment:

Roland Hansen said...

Traditional mainstream print and broadcast mass media are less than worthless to me. They sensationalize people and trivialize issues. There is less and less real news coverage. Incidentally, I have come to consider daily and nightly news programs and news magazine programs to be big infomercials for both what they will address on their programs and for their websites. Why in the world would I want to tune into a program for a story that tells me to go to the website for the details. DUH!
Tim, you are absolutely correct on the overkill coverage by television of the natural disasters. That type of overkill coverage also occurs in other stories that sensationalize events or people in order to appeal to the masses of gawkers.
Good article, Tim. And, may I end simply with "Ditto."