Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Continuing Coverage


I hate to have three posts in a row all about the same thing, but the truth is, there’s not much on my mind right now except the tornadoes and their victims.  I’ve seen posts on Facebook from people all over the country, and I’ve seen national coverage of the storm damage, so I know it’s a big story everywhere, but, as you can imagine, it’s almost the only story here locally. 

I’ve spoken before about the way that television seems to really come alive during times of disaster, and this is no different.  And, as I said then, the reason they keep doing it is because we keep watching.  And I’m included in that; I just can’t seem to tear myself away.  Honestly, there’s been no real news since early this morning.  And, by the way, that was the best kind of news, when they announced they’d somehow over-reported the number of deaths and rather than the confirmed 51 and feared 91, it now stands at 24.  But since then, not much is going on that really warrants the ‘round the clock coverage, but our local stations have provided it just the same.  (I think the national news channels have also had extensive coverage, but I really haven’t watched much of that.)  Both last night and tonight I had to force myself to turn it off for at least a couple of hours, escape into the haven of pre-recorded programs on the DVR for entertainment, because there’s only so long you can watch and listen to all the heart-wrenching interviews before you go just a little bit crazy.  But I keep getting drawn back, some sort of strange addiction, a need to be aware of every little detail, even if the details are heartbreaking. 

And, don’t even get me started on the stupid and insulting stuff that shows up on television (and then get shared all over social media) in the midst of disasters.  The most recent offender was Pat Robertson on The 700 Club saying that God doesn’t really send tornadoes, but only made a world with different weather currents which can create tornadoes.  And I am okay with that assessment of nature, but I’m not so okay with his further comments that maybe people shouldn’t build houses where tornadoes are apt to happen, and that maybe if more people had been praying the storms could have been stilled.  Yeah, I’m really not okay with the idea of blaming the victims.  But, that’s one of the downsides of television (or any mass media): lots of people have a platform but not all of them use it responsibly. 

I will say that our local stations returned to regular programming following their late news tonight, so the normal talk shows are airing.   Letterman and Ferguson are hit and miss in terms of whether or not they entertain me on any given night, but I was really glad to see them tonight.  It’ll be a long time before everything is back to normal around here, but late-night comedians are a start.

Oklahoma Heart 5-22-13