Wednesday, January 04, 2006

God saves miners, then changes mind

Just before bed last night, I caught a news report that 12 miners that had been trapped in a mine had somehow survived lethal carbon monoxide levels and had been found alive. The news report showed one of the family members saying something to the effect, "Our creator answered our prayers and saved our family" and "It's a miracle".

After I woke up this morning, I learned that the news of a miraculous rescue was a mistake and that, in fact, the 12 miners had died.

I truly feel sorry for the families of these miners, both for losing beloved family members and for having their hopes dashed. I lost both my brothers in a car accident many years ago and I know how painful such a loss can be.

However, anyone that was previously praising their "creator" for a miracle rescue who is now blaming the mining company and not their "creator" for the deaths of these poor miners needs to be slapped back into reality and slapped for being hypocritical. You can't have it both ways.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous11:20 PM

    I agree.

    I am so sorry for these families and the victims - I cannot say I can feel the same level of sorrow that must be endured by the families, but it is absolutely wrong to call the mine owners "liars" and "hypocrites" for having erroneously interpreted the messages from below.

    This was a mistake. Nothing more. It must have been very, very frustrating for those at that church to learn that the information was reported wrong, but to be so angry over the "3 hours" is only a poor misdirection of the grief and anger they are feeling as a result of the deaths of their loved ones. The grief was not caused because the reports were positive for a short time and then negative. Their loved ones are DEAD. THAT is what matters. Do these people really think the mine owners, under intense worldwide media coverage, would actually "lie" to them on purpose? And if their contention is based on simply being mad at someone for unintentionally misinforming them, then let it be just that - be angry at the emotional roller coaster, but then re-focus back onto the very sad loss of life instead of obsessing over the brief period. There would have been tremendous grief anyway, once the dead were discovered. This snafu has only given the families a human target at which to aim their anger and feelings of loss over fate's cruel blow to their families.

    What I find much worse, however, is the shameless exploitation of this miscommunication by the media. Larry King seemed to actually WANT to get family members to be angry about it tonight on his program, and the media in general seems incapable of focusing on what really matters: the tragic deaths, or mine safety, or Mr. McCloy's miraculous survival.
    The "3 hours of euphoria" were unfortunate, but not nearly as relevant as the loss of life itself.

    The incessant media coverage of this part of the disaster, to me anyway, seems to do two things:
    1) Make many, many people angrier than they were before
    2) Emphasize the media's insatiable, and many times irresponsible, lust for juicy, dramatic stories to report, no matter how much pain they may amplify by doing so.

    I don't make a habit of slamming the media, but I find it difficult in this case to see though the mock sympathy and ridiculous "serious-news-guy" faces I seem to see on every station right now as the talking heads continue to milk the "3 hour delay" issue until the cow drops dead. It makes me feel that the moment the announcement was made about the miners actually being dead, media vultures all over the country were high-fiving each other; some of them toasting each other with stained coffee cups, celebrating their incredible good fortune, while others stood aping into mirrors, practicing how to look like they actually cared about these people so the cameras would record their "sincere" shock and sadness at the great tragedy.
    Pretty cynical I know, but I calls 'em as I sees 'em, and these journalists seem barely able to contain their excitement over the mistake, or their starvation for the chance to nod sadly as they goad survivors into forgetting their dead long enough to hiss a few juicy sound bites into the recorders.

    God bless the miners and their families. God help US to stop apathetically accepting irresponsible media manipulation.


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