Saturday, July 12, 2008

Still breaking the news


There were two deaths that got some significant coverage in the news today.

1) The death of Dr. Michael DeBakey, a renowned heart surgeon believed by some to be "the greatest surgeon ever", who performed over 60,000 surgeries himself, and whose surgical innovations have probably saved millions of lives worldwide.

2) The death of Tony Snow, who was a 'journalist', Fox News Anchor and Dubi-ya's White House Press Secretary, i.e who was essentially a propaganda maven/tool.

There was a trend to this coverage, of course. Virtually every news outlet gave big-time splashy front page status to one of these two people. The other received also-ran status from some outlets while he was completely omitted from the front pages of the rest.

Here are some screencaps, from the front/home pages of some major news outlets, from around midday today. (Since the screencaps may be crappy when thusly reproduced, I have framed the Snow coverage in red and the Dr. DeBakey coverage in green for, hopefully, rapid clarity. Click on the image if you want to see the larger version).

Let's start with the 'liberal' cable TV news giant, CNN.

Big splash, with pic, for Snow. Two bonus video links.
Dr. DeBakey gets first-runner-up status.

CBS does a little better. Dr. DeBakey gets about a fifth of the room that Snow does. Also, Dr. DeBakey merits an itty-bitty thumbnail pic! About a 2oth the size of Snow's, but a pic nevertheless. I guess if he'd just done more with his life, like Snow for instance, maybe we could have seen a better pic of him upfront!

The Google News homepage gave about equal billing to the two, but Snow ranked first. If you can read the screencap you'll see why---936 news articles about Snow, 443 about Dr. DeBakey.

Anyway, so you get the idea. This was the trend in the news outlets that reported both events on the front page. But at least they reported both on the front page, and I suppose we should be thankful for that.

Of the ones I saw, only one news outlet seemed to recognize, somewhat, the proportion of newsworthiness of the two people. The NY Times.

Finally, the Hall of Shame: ABC, MSNBC, Yahoo News and the LA Times had no mention of Dr. DeBakey on their main pages (at the time I checked and saved all these screencaps...and yeah, I got caps of their pages too) while they carried prominent, top-billing, spreads on Tony Goebb...errr...Snow.

This is typical of what we have as the mainstream media today.
1) They have no idea of what's newsworthy anymore. Catering to the basest in human instinct all the time must take its toll.
2) They more incompetent they are, the more their sense of pompous self-importance. Much like the famous attention-whore Terrell Owens, our mainstream media live by the credo "I love me some me!"


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PhysioProf said...

Great post, holmes!

Anonymoustache said...

Thanks physioprof.

Drugmonkey said...

this is just so utterly wrong

Abel Pharmboy said...

A superb but sad and sobering analysis. I only read the NYT yesterday so I thought all news outlets would recognize DeBakey similarly.

Fabulous work.

Anonymoustache said...

Thanks for the comments DM, AP.I can't describe to you adequately the sheer relief that washed over me when I saw the NYT page. I was at burst-a-blood-vessel stage by the time I got to it--- even thought the overall picture is sad, seeing the NYT page did a lot to restore my sanity. And a wee bit of hope.

gmerrick said...

Even though I think you're right, I'm going to call you a stupid asshole for the sake of satisfying the cyberspace universe's demand of having one half-cocked yahoo shout down even the most airtight of arguments with ignorant non-logic and juvenile name-calling.

You stupid asshole.

Anonymoustache said...

Whyte Chalklit!
So now you fancy yourself as a half-cocked yahoo eh? Talk about fuckin' delusions of grandeur! Actually, talk about delusions of adequacy!
And cyberspace universe? Dude, wake up and smell Ted Stevens! It is just a series of tubes, you ignoramus!

/ok, I've now satisfied the tube-borg's demand of my responding to your name calling and starting (hopefully) a totally unrelated flame-war.

gmerrick said...

Your board name is as ridiculous as the clump of hair it's named for, which is even somehow more absurd than the idea that burning fossil fuels can somehow change the weather.

P.S. You're a fag.

Anonymoustache said...

Board name? What is this, fuckin Monopoly? Dude, it's called a handle. As in handle-bar moustache.
Anyway, been reading up on some grammar, have ya? You've graduated from "Your a fag" to "You're a fag". I'm impressed.
But you nullified the improvement by resorting to such a pedestrian ad hominem (or should I say ad homo-nem) attack. Being half-cocked and all I figure you got some envy issues but, dude, even those who voted for Dubi-ya twice use the "fag" attack. Surely you can do better.

Anonymoustache said...

Just thought I'd let ya experience the Chinese Google experience.
In the immortal words of our parsdent...heh heh heh.

Mad Hatter said...

On a completely different note....

I saw your comment over at DrDrA's about being a biotech entrepreneur. Any chance you'd be willing to write a few posts on that for an "alternative careers" blog? If you're interested, email me at too.much.mercury AT gmail DOT com.


drdrA said...

I am tagging you for the books meme...

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