Servant of the Secret Fire

Random thoughts on books and life in the reality-based community

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Location: New York, United States

The name I've chosen comes from "Lord of the Rings," when Gandalf faces down the Balrog in the Mines of Moria. My Hebrew name is Esther (which is related to the word for "hidden" or "secret") Serafina (which means "burning"). This seems appropriate because although I don't usually put myself forward, I do care very passionately about a lot of things. Maybe through these blogs I can share some of these passions, as well as less weighty ideas and opinions, with others.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Mining disaster in WV

My heart goes out to the families of all the miners, including the one who, last I heard, was in critical condition, and from what I've read so far I am just appalled at the callousness and/or ineptitude of both the mining company and the media.

First, although the company may not have been responsible for the report that the miners had been found alive getting out in the first place, how on earth could they have let those people be deceived for three hours? Coudn't they have gone out and said, "We're sorry, but we don't have any solid information - what you heard was mistaken"? (I'm not sure about the punctuation there.)

Secondly, the media is not covering themselves in glory in 2006. Didn't they learn anything from Katrina, when they reported rumors as fact and ended up with egg on their faces when most of the rumors turned out not to be true? Shouldn't they have tried to find someone who knew for sure, or reported that in the absence of official statements (which, as far as I know, had not been given), this was unconfirmed?

One gut feeling that I have is that this is just another example of the melding of news and entertainment. The idea of a "miracle," of people in terrible danger being rescued at the last minute against overwhelming odds, fit right into their storyline. And where does this storyline come from? Hollywood! Of course it doesn't hurt that something similar did happen only a few years ago. Maybe they should be a little skeptical, though? They are supposed to be journalists, after all!

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