Saturday, October 24, 2009

Caveat Lectores on Media Coverage

Firefighter who fell down pole shaft gets $12.7 million
Jones currently lives with his twin sister, Lt. Meg Jones, who also is a Seattle firefighter and his guardian. The union negotiated for other firefighters to take her shifts voluntarily so she wouldn't have to use vacation or sick time ...

Please go to the link. Read the entire article and the first response to the article.

If you just read the headline you get the impression a firefighter has found a way to make a fortune off the “system,” but that is not the case here. Yes, it was a firefighter who fell who may receive nearly 13 million dollars BUT…..

After he pays for his past and future medical bills, a guardian and caretaker, his attorney fees and all it will take to keep him alive for a few years, falling down a negligently designed and maintained “pole hole” on his head was not a winning ticket to the lottery. At best, he will live out his years without becoming a total burden to his family and society or one of those poor and socially abandoned homeless people we avoid when we pass them on the street.

The facts indicate a lot more than does the headline. What is the moral of the story? The news media is not your friend.

The news media does what it takes to get people to read the medium so there will be wide spread circulation so advertising rates will pay the bills. This is not subversive to anything, but it is dangerous to believe the news media is on your side. Done correctly, the news media is on no one’s side except the public it supposedly serves.

The press, so-called fourth estate, is supposed to keep its eye on those in power to keep them honest, more or less. The actual news article appears to be an honest recounting of what happened to that unfortunate firefighter, but the headline is not. I will let you determine the public purpose of that headline.

The headline took a cheap shot at firefighters and other public employees. As you know, public employee bashing is popular right now.

The headline should have been this…
“Severely Injured Firefighter May be Partially Compensated for Injuries “

And oh yes, have a nice day.


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