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Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Bill Hemmer's Mother Says She Loves Him

Before the newly Cooperized crusading cable-news anchors start peddling their outrage over International Coal Group's do-over in West Virginia, just remember this: The bullshit spasm of celebration and miracle-mongering on CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News Channel last night continued for hours without a single official confirmation of any survivors aside from the one who was hospitalized. It was based solely on second-hand information provided by the families. The International Coal Group never confirmed reports of 12 survivors, nor did any state officials (according to one now-disappeared AP report, the governor's spokesman confirmed the discovery of 12 miners, but declined to comment on their condition--which was, for almost all of them, dead).

In other words, the cable news channels elevated a bullshit rumor to a miracle last night, despite the protestations of some of their own--Bob Hager on MSNBC made an honorable but futile attempt to puncture Rita Cosby's increasingly desperate proclamations of heavenly intervention by pointedly noting the lack of a company news conference, but he failed to articulate exactly why it should be troubling.

The whole bunch behaved like third-rate rookies who'd never seen a false rumor overtake a media frenzy. It was a shameful performance.