This episode was a terrible tragedy. That said, it was not of the order of magnitude of the WTC disaster of 9/11 which was not of the order of magnitude of the London Blitz or Dresden firestorm.Yet the news coverage was the same and the level of anxiety of our nation was unnecessarily raised in the race for increased ratings. Speculation was constant in the quest for the slightest increment of scooping the competition.We have either been incredibly lucky or the Department of Homeland Security if far better than most give them credit for. In the more than a decade since 9/11, this is the first "successful" terrorist attack of any note (of its type, at least) on US soil.Imagine if this sort of thing was a monthly or even weekly occurrence. Either our population would become a bunch of basket cases or else grow into the level of acceptance of the possibility of the inevitable which is commonplace in some parts of the world. (When I was in Israel last summer, there were rockets lobbed into the south - but we were in the north, so this fact simply didn't impact our consciousness in any particular way - and the news reports were simply that - and not sensationalist in any fashion. Sort of business as usual.)Our media outlets specialize in entertainment rather than news. We each seem to select outlets which already reflect our political and social ideas, so the news programs are designed to tell us that we are right in our beliefs (obviously different if one watches PBS than if Fox News is the preference) rather than try to provide a balanced and fair assessment of the news. Similarly, they scale the news to attract viewers rather than based on the relative importance of the news in the grand scheme of things (a lost cat sometimes gets more coverage than ten IED's exploding in Baghdad). Yes, North Korea has every right to be upset that their tantrums are wasted energy and the reporting of these efforts has been drowned in the OJ Simpsonesque reporting of a bad guy hiding in a boat.Jeff
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