When do 80,000 dead, tens of thousands more facing death count as news?

Comments

24 comments posted
Your coverage of Pakistan EarthQuake

Thanks for covering the earthquake. The death toll is feared to reach 200,000 with relief work moving at retarded pace. We still need tents, medical supplies and other relief goods as well as trained volunteers.

Kashif Aziz's picture
Posted by Kashif Aziz (not verified) on 23 October 2005 - 2:09am
You're right...

... this is getting absolutely no coverage. This one of the worst disasters in recent history and a terrible human tragedy, and yet it's already in the back of our minds. It really is very sad.

Graham's picture
Posted by Graham (not verified) on 23 October 2005 - 4:03am
Pakistan earthquake

One can but speculate on the dearth of media coverage regarding the earthquake in Pakistan. Perhaps Hurricane Katrina? The disaster that is the Bush Administration?

David

yogakorunta's picture
Posted by yogakorunta on 23 October 2005 - 7:09am
Pakistan earthquake

One can but speculate on the dearth of media coverage regarding the earthquake in Pakistan. Perhaps Hurricane Katrina? The disaster that is the Bush Administration?

David

yogakorunta's picture
Posted by yogakorunta on 23 October 2005 - 7:09am
I can't be so kind

BBC World covers the tragedy every single night. US media does not. Why?

Disaster burnout? Too many US disasters?

My feeling is that it's a combination of two things, primarily: Islamophobia, thanks to our president's pandering to the worst impulses of xenophobia, and a feeling of powerlessness that has grown since the utter failure of our government in the aftermath of Katrina.

Or maybe it's simply that the conglomerates that own the mainstream media don't see any profit opportunity in Pakistan, and don't want people sending more money overseas.

Maybe I'm too cynical. But look at the scale of this disaster, and look at the virtual non-existence of the coverage, and tell me it's just that it slipped the news editors' minds.

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 23 October 2005 - 9:04am
Maybe people just don't care

Maybe people just don't care right now. Maybe they expect to not be guilted into donating for those people while we have americans still struggling to recover from a disaster here. It's not pretty or nice, but there is a time for selfishness. I think that an american city beiong all but wiped off the map and the population being scattered to the winds is a good exscuse to be ignorant of the needs of foriegn countries.

The American people are known for their generosity in times of disaster, that's something that has kept political heat off us time and time again. I think our generosity has earned us the right to be selfish after a disaster such as Katrina.

D. Mason's picture
Posted by D. Mason (not verified) on 23 October 2005 - 10:18am
because we are sadly insular

our media is sadly insular.

right now, there are three major focuses:

issue #1 = right-wing media throwing everything to the wind to defend our current president and his faith-based administration at all costs;

issue #2 = left-wing media throwing everything to the wind to attack our current president and his faith-based administration at all costs;

issue #3 = typical media sensationalism regarding large storms in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, because sensationalism sells.

commander other's picture
Posted by commander other (not verified) on 25 October 2005 - 7:53am
Maybe people just don't know

The American media have not covered this tragedy, aside from the odd footnote in "world watch" or "global minute" coverage. How many Americans even know that tens of thousands are dying still?

The UN is asking for what, $60 million (not billion)? The US is ponying up what, $20 million? On the one hand, we can get self-righteous and say, "Well we're paying our share!" But on the other hand, we spend that much money in about 2-3 hours in Iraq. Imagine the goodwill our covering the bill would garner. Imagine what a blow to the radical fundamentalists who depend upon America's "evil deeds" to recruit terrorists!

Why are the corporate-owned media silent on this tragedy?

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 23 October 2005 - 11:17am
So what's new?

But this is hardly a new phenomenon. When have you seen the corporate media with an attention span of more than a few days for any event not directly related to US interests? As for the Islamophobia aspect: I don't know about the media but here's a NATO source in response to Egeland's appeal for a Berlin-style airlift:

"There is no question of the alliance doing that. That was Berlin after World War Two and this is Pakistan now -- there is absolutely no comparison."

I guess there really is no comparison if your main concern is furthering imperial interests, not helping people in desperate need.

raven's picture
Posted by raven (not verified) on 23 October 2005 - 4:15pm
your main concern => one's

your main concern => one's main concern.

Thanks for bring this topic up, btw.

raven's picture
Posted by raven (not verified) on 23 October 2005 - 4:19pm
I got that

..and thanks. Just hope we can get a little blog buzz on this.

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 23 October 2005 - 11:41pm
no media coverage

simple reason why there is a lack of media coverage: there is no way to pin this tragedy on Bush. Now let's cut to another hour of Rove coverage.

thomas's picture
Posted by thomas (not verified) on 24 October 2005 - 3:29pm
Now that's rich!

I suppose the media aren't supposed to be covering corruption in government if it's the Republicans in charge? And I suppose that if the media reports on one story, it must ignore all others?

I'm quite critical of the mainstream media, but thomas your comment here smacks of dittohead delusion.

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 24 October 2005 - 3:36pm
SA Tribune and Dawn links

Hi,

As soon as Shaheen Sehbai wrote (09/10) we ran the SAT banner and link, and kept it top-of-page until 12/10. See our archives/002244.html

Here's that email body:

PLEASE FORWARD THIS LINK TO ALL YOUR CONTACTS SO THAT IMMEDIATE INFO ON HOW AND WHERE TO DONATE FOR THE EARTHQUAKE VICTIMS IS AVAILABLE.

http://www.satribune.com/archives/200510/P1_RELIEF...

I suggest reading http://www.satribune.com/archives/200510/P1_ss.htm, as it isn't just OBL who stands to gain from ... the politics of humanitarian relief.

I write (some) about the politics of humanitarian relief, mostly on cat5.blog.coop, were we (wireless weenies) try to help despite the RC and FEMA monopolies.

Eric's picture
Posted by Eric (not verified) on 24 October 2005 - 5:25pm
uh maybe its not big news

uh maybe its not big news here because we've been hit with three huge natural disasters in the last few months. we gave lots of money for the tsunami before that too. stop acting like americans dont care. americans have given more than their share of aid money recently. not all of us are rich anti-capitalist capitalists driving volvos, listening to npr, and living in really safe areas with lots of money left over from our bougeois vegetarian dining experience. we have lives to live and we day to day too in many cases and just making it. let the arabs pay. we know how rich they are. let them send oil money profits to pakistan. it shouldnt matter that theyre not arabs. why dont you write about that?

stan's picture
Posted by stan (not verified) on 24 October 2005 - 6:25pm
Pakistaniraq

Shameful. Shameful to think that, had the United States not invaded Iraq, there would have been plenty of personnel and much needed helicopters to help the Pakistanis in their time of need.

Shame on us!

Steve's picture
Posted by Steve (not verified) on 24 October 2005 - 7:03pm
very shamefull indeed.

very shamefull indeed. saddam hussein probably would have been one of the first people on the scene in pakistan too, handing out ready to eat meals to all the needy, bandaging wounds, giving blood for blood transfusions, donating a kidney, giving mouth to mouth, spoon feeding the victims, lifting large blocks of concrete to singlehandedly free people. better yet, too bad the soviet union didnt succeed with their invasion. shame on them too! they should have won that war in afghanistan just like the ANSWER coalition wanted them too...they could have been helping these people too. youre right it is a shame. maybe amy goodman of democracy now should donate some of her millions of dollars to the victims. thats a good idea! i mean, the rich should pay shouldnt they? we're already paying enough money. let someelse help. let germany and france help. let saudi arabia help. let sweeden and norway help. let hugo chavez help. zapatero should help. no stevie boy, we've done our share. we have our own problems. its someone elses turn.

stan's picture
Posted by stan (not verified) on 24 October 2005 - 7:42pm
blogosphere coverage
Schaz's picture
Posted by Schaz (not verified) on 24 October 2005 - 8:13pm
It must be hard

...to go through life with so much hate and anger.

Personally I don't think the children deserve such racist contempt. But hey, this is America. You're free to hate everyone and live in fantasy land.

not all of us are rich anti-capitalist capitalists driving volvos, listening to npr, and living in really safe areas with lots of money left over from our bougeois vegetarian dining experience.

My my, so much rage directed at imagined stereotypes. It's nice to see you have so much extra energy.

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 24 October 2005 - 8:33pm
stan, stan, stan...

I'm scratching my head at this one -- rarely does one see so many non sequiturs squeezed into so few words.

Fact is, no matter what your version of diplomacy, gunboat or humanitarian, we've hamstrung ourselves by pouring so many resources into Iraq. Back away from all the post hoc rationalizations, and the Iraq debacle looks like a tragic squandering of human and material resources that requires neoconistic self-hypnosis to support.

I've seen so many desperate trolls like this pop up in the past few days that I'm really starting to catch the smell of fear coming from the Right.

But enough nonsense. I'm sending a check to UNICEF. My well-fed kid is safe asleep downstairs. Do these kids deserve, by accident of birth, any less?

modus potus's picture
Posted by modus potus (not verified) on 24 October 2005 - 11:00pm
Pakistan relief

I simply wonder how much money has Pakistan spent on it's nuclear bomb, and missle delivery system that might have been used to protect it's citizens in time of a very real crisis? Rather than a perceived and perhaps way overblown threat from India.

Of course it's the same here as well always guns before butter.

Robert Meow's picture
Posted by Robert Meow (not verified) on 25 October 2005 - 12:50pm
government waste

"""I simply wonder how much money has Pakistan spent on it's nuclear bomb, and missle delivery system that might have been used to protect it's citizens in time of a very real crisis? Rather than a perceived and perhaps way overblown threat from India.""""

now we're talking LOTS of helicopters arent we! ouch!

stan's picture
Posted by stan (not verified) on 25 October 2005 - 5:51pm
human waste

I simply wonder how many children have to die before our passive-aggressive blood lust is satisfied.

media girl's picture
Posted by media girl on 25 October 2005 - 7:01pm
human waste

""""I simply wonder how many children have to die before our passive-aggressive blood lust is satisfied.""""

I guess that depends on how soon we put an end to abortion, but thats another subject entirely.

stan's picture
Posted by stan (not verified) on 25 October 2005 - 7:08pm