Thursday, October 12, 2006

Today's Cartoon: Yankees Cory Lidle Plane Crashes Into New York Highrise

Personally, I think the biggest tragedy regarding the New York City plane crash that took the life of Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle (and his flying instructor), is the awkward sense of relief that the accident wasn't another terrorist attack, as was being speculated by the mainstream media.

Now, I don't blame news anchors for wondering if the accident was terror-related; After all, we're talking about a plane crashing into a tall building in the heart of New York City. Heck, even I was wondering if this was some sort of "October surprise" orchestrated by the people who brought us 9/11. So for reporters to be wondering the exact same thing (on-air) is completely understandable, but it's also a little disconcerting.

Sometimes I wish the cable news networks would spend a little less time speculating and a little more time focusing on the facts they have. I know this may sound like a very difficult thing for a 24 hour news channel to do with a "breaking news" story and a lot of air time to fill; but when people are tuning in to be informed and all that's being offered is guess-work, the line between fact and fantasy can get blurred quite easily. Not only can speculating about the news be misleading to the public, but it can also shape and distort our reaction to it. As is the case here, where the public is put in a position where it is actually hoping for a tragic accident, instead of a terrorist attack.

While the media has a far greater ability to gather "facts" than we do, the general public has the advantage when it comes to guessing (and second-guessing) current events, which is why that should be left to us. People don't watch the "news" for speculation; for that, we surf the internet ;)

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