Monday, December 17, 2012

Ghouls of the Media

I said what I had to say about the Newtown massacre over the weekend (though the topic is certainly coming up over at Editorial Explanations, my other blog -- look for a bunch of cartoons with bizarre slants tomorrow).

But I do have to note one particularly slimy sidenote.

My last name is Wheeler; one of the kids murdered in Newtown had the same last name. And Newtown is less than a hundred miles away from me, which is practically next door, in US terms. There's no connection, as far as I know -- Wheeler is a common name.

But there was a call, from some random reporter from my local paper, on my answering machine yesterday. I have to assume they sat someone down with a phone book and a list of last names of the dead, to scare up potential relatives who might give a sad quote to their fish-wrap.

And at moments like that, I'm happy that the US newspaper industry is in such decline, if this is how they work a major story. It's disgusting, stupid, and a massive waste of time, all in the service of "human interest." And The Wife wonders why I'm such a misanthrope!

1 comment:

Catherine Winters said...

That's disgusting. And while I realize that this is more The System than some individual jerky reporter or editor, or whomever, there's a big part of me that wishes you'd noted the reporter's name, their editor, and their place of work for Google-posterity. I hope I would be as diplomatic as you about this.

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