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TRAGEDIES AND NATURAL DISASTERS NETWORK

Put All These Horrible Stories on a Tragedies and Natural Disasters Network

July 29, 2001

Every time I turn on CNN today and see that their top story is still wildfires in Wyoming, I ask myself, "Is this the most important event occurring in the United States, let alone the world?"

Why would I want to know anything about this at all?

What possible journalistic criteria -- other than impressive visuals of the flames -- would lead to its selection as the top story?

Even when I was a kid, before I had any political consciousness, I remember watching similar stories, and wondering of what concern they were to me.

This bizarre story selection happens all the time.  Why would I want to know that a tornado "ripped through" a town in the Midwest?  Or that there was a multi-car accident in some distant state? Of course I feel sorry for the people in these unfortunate circumstances, but when I turn on the news and want to find out what's going on in the world, such stories are not what I have in mind.

For local stations in each area, of course, many of these stories are completely legit.  Not for a national news broadcast.

It's also true that if there's a really major disaster and relief aid is needed, such stories can usefully whip up a public clamor for help to be sent, but in so many of these stories that's not really applicable.

So here's a proposal: set up a separate cable channel for the reporting of such events.  Earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, sinkholes and tornadoes... to shark attacks, building collapses and vehicular mayhem.  24/7. It could be called TNDN, the Tragedies and Natural Disasters Network. 

[Attn: Rupert Murdoch  If you use this idea, I want a commission.]

This was a selection from The Daily Diatribe

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