We didn't see multiple appearances by Obama concerning Haiti? We didn't see him and his wife on tv making pleas for contributions for Haiti? We didn't see Haiti as the lead story on the news for days on end? Ok, you may have me on the "Obama being on tv every day". There may have been a day he wasn't
And you're still saying it -- you're strait trippin boo..
That Anderson Cooper acknowledged and apologized for the media's lack of coverage of the event. Not only is that factual, it makes the point also factual.
Here's something factual Mike. The News business is a business. They need product. They need stories to sell us. The Nashville story just didn't have legs -- a story has legs when there's a new angle -- something different happens, someone ironic to blame -- someone unpopular to blame -- someone surprising to blame -- when it's just nature -- it really doesn't have long legs -- so when a story runs out of legs -- they start reporting on the reporting of the story:
As you may have heard, torrential downpours in the southeast flooded the Tennessee capital of Nashville over the weekend, lifting the Cumberland River 13 feet above flood stage, causing an estimated $1 billion in damage, and killing more than 30 people. It could wind up being one of the most expensive natural disasters in U.S. history.
Or, on second thought, maybe you didn't hear. With two other "disasters" dominating the headlines—the Times Square bombing attempt and the Gulf oil spill—the national media seems to largely to have ignored the plight of Music City since the flood waters began inundating its streets on Sunday. A cursory Google News search shows 8,390 hits for "Times Square bomb" and 13,800 for "BP oil spill." "Nashville flood," on the other hand, returns only 2,430 results—many of them local. As Betsy Phillips of the Nashville Scene writes, "it was mind-boggling to flip by CNN, MSNBC, and FOX on Sunday afternoon and see not one station even occasionally bringing their viewers footage of the flood, news of our people dying."
So why the cold shoulder? I see two main reasons. First, the modern media may be more multifarious than ever, but they're also remarkably monomaniacal. In a climate where chatter is constant and ubiquitous, newsworthiness now seems to be determined less by what's most important than by what all those other media outlets are talking about the most. Sheer volume of coverage has become its own qualification for continued coverage. (Witness the Sandra Bullock-Jesse James saga.) In that sense, it's easy to see why the press can't seem to focus on more than one or two disasters at the same time. Everyone is talking about BP and Faisal Shahzad 24/7, the "thinking" goes. So there must not be anything else that's as important to talk about. It's a horrible feedback loop.
Of course, the media is also notorious for its ADD; no story goes on forever. Which brings us to the second reason the Nashville floods never gained much of a foothold in the national conversation: the "narrative" simply wasn't as strong. Because it continually needs to fill the airwaves and the Internet with new content, 1,440 minutes a day, the media can only trade on a story's novelty for a few hours, tops. It is new angles, new characters, and new chapters that keep a story alive for longer. The problem for Nashville was that both the gulf oil spill and the Times Square terror attempt are like the Russian novels of this 24/7 media culture, with all the plot twists and larger themes (energy, environment, terrorism, etc.) required to fuel the blogs and cable shows for weeks on end. What's more, both stories have political hooks, which provide our increasingly politicized press (MSNBC, FOX News, blogs) with grist for the kind of arguments that further extend a story's lifespan (Did Obama respond too slowly? Should we Mirandize terrorists?). The Nashville narrative wasn't compelling enough to break the cycle, so the MSM just continued to blather on about BP and Shahzad.
You want to know a media story that keeps growing new legs? Try googling "Obama's Katrina":
Oil spill is only the latest crisis media have dubbed "Obama's Katrina"
April 30, 2010 4:45 pm ET — 12 Comments
Media figures have absurdly declared that the Gulf Coast oil spill is "Obama's Katrina" and have compared President Obama's response to the spill with President Bush's botched response to Hurricane Katrina. But this is just the latest in a long line of ridiculous comparisons in which media figures have referred to current events as "Obama's Katrina."
A wide (and frequently bizarre) range of previous versions of "Obama's Katrina"
Gulf oil spill: "Obama's Katrina"
Numerous media figures dub Gulf oil spill "Obama's Katrina." Media conservatives, including Rush Limbaugh, the Fox Nation, the Drudge Report and The Washington Times pushed the absurd claim that a catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is "Obama's Katrina." This claim is undermined by a number of facts, including that British Petroleum reportedly led the Obama administration to believe that the spill was much less severe than it actually was.
H1N1 flu: "Obama's Katrina"
Numerous media figures suggested the H1N1 flu was "Obama's Katrina." On his November 3, 2009, radio show, Rush Limbaugh stated that the H1N1 vaccine shortage "ought to be Obama's Katrina," but won't because "they have to protect the little man-child." An August 25 op-ed by Martin Schram for the Scripps-Howard News Service was headlined, "Schram: Swine flu could be Obama's Katrina." Kansas City Star blogger Bill Dalton wrote an October 15, 2009, post under the headline, "H1N1: Obama's Katrina?" On the May 3, 2009 edition of Washington, D.C., television station WJLA's Inside Washington, host Gordon Peterson and Newsweek's Evan Thomas discussed whether the H1N1 flu was "Obama's Katrina. [accessed via Nexis]"
Fort Hood shootings: "Obama's Katrina"
Human Events' Wooley: "Fort Hood Could Be Obama's Katrina." In a November 11, 2009, Human Events post titled "Fort Hood Could Be Obama's Katrina," radio host Lynn Wooley wrote: "As Hurricane Katrina zeroed in on New Orleans in 2005, government at all levels was lethargic, seemed unprepared, and to some, even uncaring. In the wake of last week's massacre at Fort Hood, we are learning that the United States Army knew quite a bit about Major Nadal Malik Hasan -- but did not act on the information. Fort Hood could become Barack Obama's Katrina." Wooley concluded: "The attitude of our Commander-in-Chief and others sworn to protect us is frighteningly reminiscent of what happened with Katrina. All we need from Obama is a hearty, 'Gen. Casey, you're doing a heck of a job.'"
Kentucky Ice storms: "Obama's Katrina"
Confederate Yankee: "Obama's 'Katrina on Ice'" A February 1 Confederate Yankee post titled "Obama's 'Katrina on Ice'" asserted:
More than 700,000 homes are still without power in Kentucky due to a massive ice storm that struck the state six days ago, forcing Gov. Steve Beshear to mobilize his entire state's Army and Air National Guard, a total of 4,600 men and the largest call-out in Kentucky's history.
FEMA has apparently been a no-show.
Haiti earthquake: "Obama's Katrina"
WSJ op-ed: "Haiti: Obama's Katrina." In a January 25 op-ed in the Wall Street Journal titled "Hatiti: Obama's Katrina," Soumitra R. Eachempati, Dean Lorich, and David Helfet wrote: "Four years ago the initial medical response to Hurricane Katrina was ill equipped, understaffed, poorly coordinated and delayed. Criticism of the paltry federal efforts was immediate and fierce. Unfortunately, the response to the latest international disaster in Haiti has been no better, compounding the catastrophe."
Flopping Aces: "Does Obama Hate the People of Haiti?" In a January 17 post titled "Obama's Katrina," Flopping Aces mentioned the criticisms of Bush for his Katrina response and concluded: "Does Obama hate the people of Haiti?"
GM bankruptcy: "Obama's Katrina"
Politico: GOP hopes GM bailout is "Obama's Hurricane Katrina" A June 8 Politico article's headline read: "Republicans hope General Motors is President Obama's Hurricane Katrina."
Christmas Day Underwear Bomber: "Obama's Katrina"
Pajamas media: "Is the Undiebomber Obama's Katrina?" A December 29 Pajamas Media blog post titled "Is the Undiebomber Obama's Katrina?" asserted: "No doubt, Obama's poll numbers aren't going to be helped by this Jan-caused disaster. But I doubt if the fallout they'll face will be as severe as what the Bush administration went through due to Katrina, simply because the media will never gin up a news storm against the man they helped to elect that's anywhere near as powerful as the one they created to accompany Katrina."
Housing policies in Chicago: "Obama's Katrina"
Kaus: "Obama's Katrina." Slate blogger Mickey Kaus linked to a Boston Globe article about Obama's Chicago housing policies as a state senator, headlining his post "Obama's Katrina." Kaus later updated, concluding: After all, Obama's career has been unusually limited for a presidential contender. Housing and "community development" has been a big part of it. If the result has been a disaster in which Obama's friends made lots of money while his poor constituents lived in dangerous squalor, that seems like a big warning sign, no? At least an expectations-lowerer! George W. Bush, in contrast, hadn't dedicated a large chunk of his life to FEMA."