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January 4, 2006

MSM's 'Tragic' Reporting Of The Mine Tragedy

Topics: Follies of the Mainstream Media

Once again, the American media have leaped upon a story that was just plain wrong, reported it as fact, and spun it for all it's worth.

This time, the media's tragic reporting of a genuine tragedy involving the lives of 13 men, lifted the hearts and spirits of the families of the mine disaster victims, before ripping their hearts out with the final truth the ultimately emerged - in spite of what the media said, printed, and built upon with spin.

In its print edition, the Times story carried this qualified headline: "12 Miners Are Found Alive, Family Members Say."

An Associated Press dispatch first carried the news at 11:59 pm: "Twelve miners caught in an explosion in a coal mine were found alive Tuesday night, more than 41 hours after the blast, family members said. Bells at a church where relatives had been gathering rang out as family members ran out screaming in jubilation." But many newspapers, and all of cable TV news, reported the rescue as fact, not merely based on family claims.

A later AP account by Allen Breed grew more, not less, certain: "Twelve miners caught in an explosion in a coal mine were found alive Tuesday night, sending family members streaming from the church where they had gathered during the nearly two-day ordeal. Joyous shouts rose of 'Praise the Lord!'"

Anderson Cooper, the CNN host, ripped the coal company at 3 a.m. for not correcting the wrong reports for so long, but did not explain why CNN went with the good news without strong confirmation.

While all of us can only pray that the victim's families can somehow find comfort and peace in their mourning, and that this terrible tragedy can somehow result in learning how to prevent it from happening again, the MSM's reporting drives home to all of us just how wrong the media can be, and indeed was, in the reporting of the trapped coal miners in West Virginia.

So to all Americans, our take home message from the tragic reporting of the media of a mine tragedy in W. Va. is - perhaps we ought to think twice about relying on agenda-driven news from the MSM, their "push reporting" of uninvestigated facts, before swallowing it hook, line, and sinker. If they can even get "good news" wrong, imagine how wrong they can be on bad news.

As for the NY Times - the liberal's "bastion of truth," at the time of this writing they were still headlining - "12 Miners Found Alive 41 Hours After Explosion ." Tragically, they are wrong - again!

Think Iraq, for a start.

Posted by Richard at January 4, 2006 9:32 AM

Im sure each and every reporter feels like warmed over sh*&...they were only doing their job..and reporting what they thought was fantastic news

Posted by: walkytalky at January 4, 2006 11:56 AM

You're right about the reporters probably being anxious to report good news, but as in Iraq and elsewhere, if they were really doing their jobs, without prejudice (in this case "wanting" good news), they would get the facts right first - then report.

Posted by: Richard at January 4, 2006 12:39 PM

I was cleaning up the kitchen last night and I had CNN on with the volume low, I caught a glimpse of Anderson Cooper's face and I knew instantly that I had better turn up the volume and pay attention.
This is just another symptom of the media's degeneration into what Marshall McLuan predicted year's ago. No longer do we have reporters, real journalists, instead we have "media personalities" who report the news that is given to them to read. A couple of years back, I began getting my news from the internet and from the media of other countries. It had occurred to me that our news was being delivered with a bias and I was no longer being given "pure facts". Unless the media "cleans up its act" more americans will turn to other sources. When I said to a family member last night how horrified I was by what happened in West Viriginia their answer was simple "stop watching, you feed into them, if their ratings go down then maybe they will begin to realize what is happening in their profession." I thought about this and I have come to the inescapable conclusion that we have to start caring and bringing forth legitimate criticism, maybe the audience can effect change.
My thoughts and prayers are with the families of all the miners. We forget how many do dangerous jobs, the military included of course, so that we can have comfortable lives.

Posted by: Little Bo Peep at January 4, 2006 4:27 PM

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