Trivializing a Disaster.

Mar 30

As of this writing it’s been over three weeks since Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 (MH370)disappeared somewhere over the Indian Ocean while bound from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Search efforts continue but have yet to find any trace of the missing jet, its passengers and crew.

Several countries have devoted considerable time and resources trying to find the missing airliner. While photos from search planes and satellites have found considerable debris, none of it belonged to the jet. All that’s been revealed is how much junk and human waste is floating around in the ocean.

The American media has turned a tragedy into a punchline.

The American media has turned a tragedy into a punchline.

The jet’s mysterious vanishing has riveted the world’s attention, especially that of the media, especially the American media. Rather that providing sober coverage of the search, we’ve been treated instead to wild conjecture reported as hard news, with so-called “experts” speculating on everything from terrorists highjacking and hiding the jet in Pakistan or the jungle, to blaming its disappearance on black holes, aliens and “the hand of god”. That’s prompted considerable mockery of the media from stand-up comics and late night talk show hosts.

In less than three weeks, the American media have taken a tragedy and trivialized it. Of course, because it happened halfway around the world, to non-Americans (many of whom were Muslim), the US television blowhards can get away with spewing their nonsense.

Had this happened to Americans, off the coast of North America, you can bet the coverage would be more serious, or at least, as serious as the American broadcast media can be in these situations.

There would still be babbling wingnuts darkly muttering about terrorists or perhaps Russia taking down the plane with a submarine-based missile. There just wouldn’t be as much of it.

While the American talking heads swap their silly theories and continue to treat news as entertainment, the families of those passengers continue to grieve, seeking closure while waiting for any news as to what happened to their dear ones in their final hours.  The search efforts and the grieving families are the real story here, which shouldn’t be reduced to a punchline.

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