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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The West Virginia Miner Fiasco

For many, this story of the thirteen trapped miners grabbed headlines and attention around the nation. And what many people went to bed elated to know last night was that 12 of those 13 managed to be found and rescued. I know, I was one of them, but I was reluctant to address it yesterday. That, and honestly I was too busy at work. I caught updates in passing, but I really didn't know a lot about what was going on. I was too dead tired yesterday to click on the computer and check the updates. I left it in the hands of those that knew.

How wrong was I.

I awoke to the news that the media had screwed up. Instead of printing and backing up a real story, they engaged in rumor-mongering. Twelve of the thirteen miners found were dead; long expired after the explosion. How long, no one will know until the autopsies are done, but this is a serious mistake by the media, and pardon me for being a little ticked at their response of "don't blame us."

I do blame them, and this is one of the reasons why I took Thomas and Marcie up on their offer to participate in this site. I believed, and still do, that bloggers do it better than the media. They proved it again. Many bloggers, like myself, ended up going to bed, content with the news we had heard. I mean, would the media really screw up a happy story like this on purpose? Of course not, but they did screw it up with their own mistakes. Third hand information, and an unconfirmed rumor, at that; no official representative had stated there were survivors. It's the media's fault for not getting the story right.

We've seen this as recently as last year with their piss-poor coverage of Katrina. They've misinformed the public before in the wake of tragedy. Anyone remember the story from 9-11 of the man "surfing" a piece of concrete to the ground below, unhurt as the buildings were collapsing? I do. I heard it firsthand from CNN. They even tried to find him on the video replays. The buildings would magically reassemble themselves, then they'd roll the feed forward. They never did find him. Rightly so as it's simply an urban legend that never happened. Just like the freezer in New Orleans that was supposed to be stacked with some forty bodies. Never happened, again.

The media's erroneous reporting has hit it's worst low with this malfeasance. You can cite chapter and verse of bad reports, blown covert natures, and idiotic editorial columns, but to raise the hopes of the people DIRECTLY AFFECTED, then to dash them is just a crime I'm not apt to forgive.

But for the people who just cheered my venom towards the media, I have equal amounts of venom for the mining company. That venom after I read the following from a blogger. This just completely ticked me off.

"Anderson Cooper is ripping the coal/mining company. They knew, according to Anderson, 20 minutes after the news broke that the 12 had survived that in fact several did NOT survive. But since the coal company didn't have all the information, they didn't say anything for three hours, leaving the media and the families to believe that 12 had survived. Jesus. Now the company gets to worry about emotional distress damages added to the lawsuits."

The comapany knew the report was wrong, and did nothing to stop it's announcement. They could have avoided the outrage of the people involved with the waiting--the ones celebrating something that would never come to pass. CNN reported that the survivors were due through the doors a few minutes after the announcement of their rescue. In a matter of minutes, the crowds happiness turned to anger. And it was not pleasant.

Family members of victims in a fatal mining accident became enraged and lunged at a coal company official after being told today that only one of 13 miners had survived a mine explosion, witnesses said.

The scene unfolded inside the Sago Baptist Church, three hours after the family members had been told that 12 of the miners had survived.

For two days, the church had been the place where family members waited anxiously for news.

Nick Helms, son of victim Terry Helms, said several family members had to wrestle one distraught man to the ground inside the church to keep him from hurting the coal company officials who were the bearers of the news.
“I immediately took my girlfriend, my sister and everyone else out of the church,” Helms said. “They were trying to get them. They were doing everything they could to get these guys.”

The tragic announcement marked the end of a 41-hour wait after the explosion at the Sago Mine on Monday morning that trapped 13 miners. Virtually everyone in the tight-knit Upshur County community was related to, or friends with, one or more of the trapped miners.

I would say their rage was well-founded. Would I concede their reaction was justified? No, but I do understand. I can only imagine what I would do in such a situation: elation one minute as I found out my loved one was found, and devesation the next as I found out they were dead, and to fight out that the company had known different when the original announcement had been made. Oh, you bet I would've been gunning for someone's throat.

I don't condone it, but I understand.

The minig company will have quite a bit to answer for in the coming weeks and months during the investigation. The media will have far more to answer for. I've heard too many people today talking about the contrast in newspapers on the stand, and I saw similar today. One paper--the biggie mainstream one--ran a headline showing that 12 were brought out alive with 1 death, and the other paper showing exactly the opposite. I shake my head.

Let this be a lesson for the media: Just because you twits go to bed at ten p.m., news doesn't stop happening. There should have been people in place to stop presses, and get the story right. This story isn't like 9-11 where special print issues were put out when it happened (I own quite a few of those papers; a hobby that I am still working on). This was a mistake of the first order. You put a story to bed that wasn't technically finished because those in charge hadn't given you the final word. You went off someone that was connected to the operation, but not the honchos. Way to go, guys and girls. You just earned the idiot of the year award for how bad you botched this one.

That's the way to start the new year off; stumbling and tripping over the first major story of the year.

Mistress Pundit


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I received many jubilant IM's that the trapped miners were alive. I went to bed with that information. It wasn't true. Blame for putting out false "facts?" Yes, there's plenty to go around. Some even entertained the falsity as intentionally being planted. I admit to being a skeptic about most things, but I also wanted to believe the miners were alive. A professor once remarked that from a proven fact, one inference may be drawn and any more, it's gossip or hearsay. Far too often we accept gossip and spin as fact. I share in the blame and I think we all do. Maybe this will be a terrible lesson? Rawriter

1:20 AM  

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