Yeah, Ok…. Now its old news. But you gotta wonder, why didn’t anybody know about the flooding in Des Moines, Iowa? You could ask a friend, a co-worker, or your lover during your hot, steamy, sex session and you’d get the same reaction: a blank, confused stare.
About a month ago, my sister nonchalantly asked me, “Did you hear about Des Moines, Iowa? The whole place is flooded”. Not that we have any particular reason to care -no family or known relatives of ours live there- but it caught me by surprise. Sounds pretty huge, why haven’t I heard anything? I do keep up with the news on a daily basis, you know.
So, as a responsible adult making a conscious effort to stay informed, I tuned in to the local news (for the entire hour, believe it or not) and nothing. I changed to CNN, and Headline News and spent another hour and 45 minutes respectively, awaiting some info on the Iowa situation. Nothing! Not even a crawler.
So I finally jumped online (yes, I should have known better) and stumbled unto MSNBC. After a thorough scan, I found a small headline in the lower right quadrant of their main page. After clicking on it, I found the actual story. Severe thunderstorms and flash floods had hit Iowa, causing levees to break and entire neighborhoods were under water.
I was astonished to say the least. I mean, I don’t know about you, but… isn’t this kinda of a big deal? We are talking devastation close to what New Orleans went through. Not the same, of course, but we are talking 88 of the state’s 93 counties declared a disaster area, 10,000 people driven from their homes, up to 190,000 Iowans facing inminent danger, almost all drinking water cut off, more than 6 inches of rain falling for almost a week straight since June 6, Des Moines downtown flooded, losses that may exceed the $5.7 billion spent to clean up floods in 1993,– you’d think these kind of things would merit some coverage on the Evening News.
What I found most interesting was that (with the exception of local Iowa news) the media didn’t really start to bring this to the forefront until weeks later. Little-to-no significant coverage surfaced until roughly 2 weeks after the disaster and only then did we see the news creep into crawler feeds and short news segments.
Beloved U.S. President, George Bush, dropped by to survey the disaster on June 20th, dispensing much-needed empathy to surviving Iowans. Renowned for his impeccable sense of timing, President Bush congratulated local volunteers for “really showing great compassion and working hard and hugging people and giving people hope,” during his three-hour tour of the state.
After reading up on the situation, I went out and started testing everyone I knew on the subject. I simply asked if they were aware of the Iowa floods, not on specifics of the problem.
Nobody knew. Not one could give me an answer.
Co-workers, friends, family members… all clueless.
Now, I am an objective human being. I have considered that maybe I surround myself with highly ignorant and lackadaisical people, especially after remembering I didn’t know about the Iowa floods in the first place. Or that maybe everyone I know doesn’t care about the news. Or that even maybe, they are unwilling to pay for cable or broadband Internet.
Unfortunately, this is not the case…at all. Some of the people I know are not only highly educated, but they are much more involved in the state of their community and current events that I could ever dream to be. Most are addicted to the Internet, especially those obscure and non-mainstream sites that feature unbiased news. And most were just as astonished as I was.
We are not purporting a conspiracy theory here. We know that the news finally surfaced and well… better late than never. But it begs hundreds of well-founded questions:
Doesn’t it seem a little strange that a disaster that echoes the clusterf&@k that was New Orleans, doesn’t receive the immediate National attention it deserves?
Why should we accept another Brangelina tribe news segment, when thousands of fellow Americans are displaced from their homes?
Should we really care that Madonna and Guy Ritchie might be getting divorced, when half of the Midwest is threatened by surging rivers?
Why are we hearing about Brangelina and Madonna first?
Like Gloss Lip.com asked: Where are the Celebrities????
Does the lack of coverage of Iowa’s floods indicate a selectivity that may be influenced by an Administration known for its intimidation tactics when it comes to the media? And does the timing have anything to do with it? You gotta wonder if this just might be an attempt by the Bush Administration to suppress yet another embarrassment, in order to help the GOP’s current presidential candidate, Cocoon actor, John McCain.
We dunno, we’re just saying…