The TeeVee critters were covering the oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico. (An' just in time for Earff Day, too; I'd sure be lookin' for an ELF in the works). It was painful to watch. Not because of the lives lost; terrible as that is, the shock has passed. Not because the images were so dreadful. No, it was the way the newsman on the TV morning chat show was so obviously salivating for further disaster.
USCG Rear Adm. Mary Landry had all the facts and figures; the Coasties had done what they do so well and had assets in the air, on the water and on the sea floor. Mr. News wasn't listening and didn't care:
Newsboy: "...So, there's oil leaking from the well...?"
Rear Admiral Mary Landry: "No, [name redacted], what you see on the water -- contained by the booms -- is from the oil rig itself."
NB: "But if it was-- Wouldn't that be an impossible situation, with the oil rig collapsed on top of the well? You couldn't get to it."
ML: (As though speaking to a very young child): "The platform didn't collapse on the well."
NB: (Disappointedly) "But what if it had? Wouldn't that be an unprecedented environmental disaster?"
ML: (As though she had over-estimated the child's age) "It did not. The oil you see on the surface is residual from the explosion. The rig fell next to the well. There has been no leakage. We are monitoring it closely."
NB: (Looking crestfallen) "Well, thank you."
Network TV: I use it as an alarm clock because nothing gets me out of bed like a moron trying to go all Woodward & Bernstein over a satellite link with the primary source. Hey, here's an idea -- whyn't try reporting what you know (or what the people who do know will tell you), and leave the doom-laden guesses to experts?
T. R. MCELROY'S STREAMLINED TELEGRAPH KEYS
4 months ago