How Did I Miss That?

January 2nd, 2019 Posted by Susan's Musings 24 comments

Some time, in the last few weeks, a major earthquake hit Alaska. It wasn’t out in the hinterlands, but close to Anchorage, and it wasn’t a tremor but rather registered 7.0 on the Richter scale. For those of you who have never lived in an earthquake-prone area, that is huge.

I randomly found out about it over a month later while catching up on a blog by a woman who lives in that region. How could this be? How could I be so out of touch with a major event that took place in my own country?

When I was growing up, my parents watched the nightly news on TV as well as getting a daily paper. As I recall, they could choose between three or four news shows over the course of an evening, but whether they chose the show with Walter Cronkite or David Brinkley, they would pretty much hear the same information that they would then read about in depth in the next day’s paper.

In contrast, I don’t watch TV and while I can access information online 24 hours a day, it may be completely different information depending on the source I choose to peruse. I read the same daily paper my parents did, yet I rarely take the time to absorb it all.

While I missed the news about the earthquake, and despite not deliberately searching out this information, I do know that Melania Trump wore boots when she visited the troops overseas with her husband. Quite frankly, I couldn’t care less about her shoes, but it seems that many Americans who are outraged, horrified and appalled at everything that anyone associated with the president does (unless it reflects badly on him) are obsessed with them. I admit to skipping a lot of articles for fear that they are biased, inaccurate and vindictive writings masquerading as news whose only goal is to bash the president. I have even stopped reading certain columnists I used to enjoy because they have become one-note and bitter pundits. Since Alaska’s governor applauded President Trump’s reaction to the earthquake, the entire event was non-news.

I think there is a second reason as well. There were no deaths. Even the airport reopened within a few hours. Alaska is truly the last frontier and its citizens are proud of their “can do” attitude rather than, “I’m a victim” mentality. However, our news cycle prefers victims over victors, thereby stifling good news. Alaskans are rightly proud of the lack of devastation and are marking it up to wise building codes and infrastructure planning. Touting that accomplishment goes against the grain of the culture. It suggests, for example, that California, which also sits on an earthquake fault line, might use its money more wisely by investing in infrastructure rather than, shall we say, a light-rail system to nowhere that does little more than delight liberal sensibilities.  But planning ahead to cope with calamity might commit the cardinal America crime of ‘blaming the victim,’ even if those victims have not yet been harmed and wise leadership could pre-empt their ever being harmed. Better to let a bunch of people die and then we can read blazing headlines mourning their victimhood. Increasingly, that seems to be the American way.  Happily it is not the Alaskan way!

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24 comments

Melma says:

Sadly, my New Year resolution was no more news. I don’t want to stick my head in the sand, but I am deeply troubled by the way news has changed. This year I will focus my attention on only positive, productive, and unbiased information. The news use to be 1/2 hour of only who, what, where, when ,how, and why, triple checked. Numerous unnamed sources, one news organization interviewing another, panels of pundits, former staffers as reporters, and infotainment wasn’t part of the agenda. This year I will let God handle all and have some peace.

Susan Lapin says:

I can really relate, Melma. I’d like to know your plan for getting productive and unbiased information. As for only positive, I’m afraid that I don’t like the negative but I want to know it so that I can fight it. I hope your plan works for you.

James says:

As I recall, I have once before mentioned JRR Tolkien’s Farmer Giles of Ham, a short tale potentially replete with heady and outrageous tongue-in-cheek satire. A wicked dragon has come down from the hills and is marauding the Little Kingdom. There are armored knights charged with defending the Kingdom. But what are they doing? They sit around at court, discussing the latest fashion in hats. The gruesome and perilous task of subduing the dragon is up to a simple farmer. He subdues the dragon and deposes the greedy and ineffectual king.

What a neat parable for the late societal decay in America! The press is no longer the watchdog of Benjamin Franklin or Thomas Paine defending us from tyranny, but a catty gossip column for petty ‘fashion police’ to label and dismiss the current shoe fashions of prominent figures, and even to take sniping potshots to undermine a president. And our President is hardly a farmer, but he is certainly an outsider at court, deeply resented by the knights who are career legislators on the gravy train. I hope he subdues the ‘dragon’ and deposes the ‘king,’ whoever they be: whether a defiant international ‘star chamber,’ the scheming Deep State, progressive wolves in sheep’s clothing, or self-serving insiders turning the cranks of rampant graft and corruption.

Susan Lapin says:

Thanks for the reading suggestion, James. There’s nothing new under the sun!

carl from South Carolina says:

HOWDY Susan, you are very accurate in observations. Another tragity non newsworthy is JOPLIN,MO. 45 SECOND warning, and greater than half the city GONE.

Susan Lapin says:

Oh, my. They have had a rough few years, Carl.

CG Phillips says:

Dear Susan,
I can always count on you and Rabbi Daniel to offer a thoughtful, alternative viewpoint. There is a lot of truth in what you say, particularly in regards to the news. Too much of it is sensationalism for the sake of ratings. I believe, as a nation, we are too absorbed with what other people do, rather than what we’re doing ourselves. It’s easier to point fingers at someone else than at ourselves. Thank you for pointing out what should be obvious if we were just paying attention.

Susan Lapin says:

I think it goes beyond ratings today. I think we have lost the entire idea of journalism as a noble profession based on the truth.

Vince says:

Thank you Susan. I live in California and it’s so true. It doesn’t matter what great or good comes from our President, the liberal media and left hate him. I’ve quit watching the news on TV because of that. Thank G-d no one was killed in the recent earthquake in Alaska. Our state would rather spend tax money on the LGBTQ agenda than infrastructure it seems.

Susan Lapin says:

Vince, while there was a lot of damage, this should have been touted as a tremendous success story. Surely, one of the correct functions of government should be to keep citizens safe. That’s different from pleading for help once the citizens have been harmed.

Pstor Dave Allen says:

Before becoming a pastor 32 years ago I was the news director of a small radio station in Wisconsin. I’ve always been interested in news, but with all the Trump-bashing I’m very selective about what channels I watch. I saw stories about the earthquake shortly after it happened, so am surprised that it took you so long to find out about it. That’s not a criticism, just an observation. I always enjoy reading your views. By the way, my favorite newspaper is the Jerusalem Post.

Susan Lapin says:

I was surprised myself, so I asked other people if they had heard about it. They hadn’t. It just may be a function of so much news being thrown at us. I do think that when things work, as things did in Alaska, it’s worth highlighting it more so that others can learn from it. But, you’re right that my contention that it wasn’t well covered may not be correct.

Mark Z says:

I’m old enough to remember ‘Firing Line’ when there were cavil between people with completely opposite points of view. It was a delight to see. Now my concerns are; can a nation so divided stand?

Susan Lapin says:

Mark, what a great point! There used to actually be intelligent debate. It has been replaced mostly by screaming ad hominem attacks intended to reinforce whatever lack of knowledge already exists.

Steve Meitzler says:

Susan:
What ever happened to Paul Harvey? Once I got out of school (perhaps even before) and had regular 12 o’clock lunch breaks, his 15 minute synopsis of the news kept me up to date. I grew weary of television news, even television programing itself 15 or 20 years ago, then to top it all off the local newspaper couldn’t put anything on the front page but homosexual and trans-gender trash, so I cancelled it. I think what they used to call brain-washing has replaced news. Thank you.

Susan Lapin says:

I assume that’s a rhetorical question, Steve? Paul Harvey passed away in 2009 at the age of 90. He was something special.

Brian F. Tucker says:

Dear Susan,
There may still be a ray of sunshine. We have found a news outlet called OAN. One America News. I’m not saying it is perfect (the certainly lean right) but there are less talking heads. You get more strait news and less opinion. You get more world news and not a lot of Trump bashing. We heard about the earthquake the day it happened. Direct TV channel 347.
Good luck, God Bless and happy new year,
Brian

Susan Lapin says:

Thank you for the head’s up, Brian.

I don’t wish to be one of those “victims”, as your post so put it
…I don’t want to be permanently maimed for life while receiving a plethora of sanctimonious platitudes from strangers whom I’ve never met before in my life.

LJ says:

I did hear about that earthquake while listening to the radio one day briefly.

I do turn to some young YouTube folks these days for a number of reasons. Here are a few sources that have been able to get my attention: Judicial Watch: Tom Fitton; PragerU: various commentators; The Daily Signal: various commentators; The Daily Wire: various commentators; Oann Network: various commentators; Turning Point USA-Charlie Kirk, Brandon Tatum & Canace Owens; Terrence K Williams; Young America’s Foundation TV: various commentators; Anthony Brian Logan; Zach Hing; David Harris Jr; Colion Noir; Allen West; Jordan Peterson; Mark Steyn; The Walkaway Movement: various people; and some others.

It’s easy for me to think that there are many folks out there whose opinions and ideas have been being deleted from social media these days because they are specifically talking about the problems with social virtual signaling. There is a true problem with the mainstream media’s take on topics of high importance and the general public is being fed a lot of lies every day. If one just considers for a moment the “Southern Border” crossing problem then it’s easier to think about why there is a mass migration movement happening to the United States from South America. I personally think that it is a repeat of what’s been taking place in European countries. I think that funds are being made available for it to take place throughout the “West.” We are unable to know the real truth about it because the people behind the funding are doing it to cause chaos.

Additionally, we have heard that our government (DOJ & FBI) have colluded together and that they’ve been destroying incriminating texts and emails that were being requested through lawsuits brought against the government through the Freedom of Information Act.

The idea of Western Civilization itself is so very hated by the radical “Left Wing” in every culture and in every society. The mid-term elections of 2018 had a lot of voter fraud, and Harris County-Texas was one target. The Democrats managed to turn every single “Judges’ Seat” into a “D” even in some typically “R” areas. We are being told to accept the idea that there isn’t any fraud at all.

Communism is the real savior of mankind; anyone can just ask the new Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez and her ally, Senator Bernie Sanders! Communism is equality for all with the exception that there are some who are more equal than others.

We do need to pay attention to the news, all of it. The good news and the bad news require our attention because we will be taken over if we choose to simply “Tune it out.”

LJ says:

Yesterday, in the same way that I’d heard about the Alaska earthquake (on the radio), I heard about an earthquake off the coast of Maryland. Did you or anyone else hear about it? I’m curious. Interestingly, my family and I were in D.C. in 2011 when it had two major events; my daughter (then 15), son (then 13), and I were leaving a tour of the White House when an earthquake struck. I thought there was a terrorist attack in the subway because that is what it sounded like. It was surreal and bizarre. When we were flying out of D.C. later that week, a hurricane nearly haulted our departure, and I think we were one of the final flights to leave the airport before it shut down due to the weather. Having grown up in ‘SoCal’, I was not expecting to hear of an earthquake in that region. I’ve been in the area of two major earthquakes: California and Washington states.

Joyce R. says:

What marvelous observations from everyone. I had lunch with a friend the other day and we agreed that the 24-hour news model is a failure. Too much commentary to the detriment of solid reporting of who, what, when, where, why, and how. To top it off the pundits are more aggravating than informative. I am weaning myself off televised news more and more because, frankly, have apoplexy over nonsense is not something I want to experience. Bless you, Susan, for once again pointing out how the media shapes what they want us to focus on instead of living up to the ideal that led our founding fathers to give the press constitutionally protected freedom to proclaim the news, whether the politicians liked it or not.

Jacob Ward says:

I respectfully disagree about building codes–we need less (liberal) regulations not more. A light-rail system IS infrastructure, so I agree with you there. The only people that’d want to go from San Francisco to Los Angeles in less than 3 hours are in LGBTQ community. They can sit in traffic like the rest of us.

Susan Lapin says:

Jacob, I am in general in favor of fewer regulations as well. But I do think government has a purpose. There is a reason that earthquakes kill fewer people in some areas than in others and it does have to do with building codes. Forcing a building to have day care? I’m opposed. Mandating codes that actually pass the smell test? I’m in favor.

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