Thursday, January 26, 2006

May I swear and rant??

Of course I may, it's my blog. Warning, liberal use of profanity ahead.

The tragic accident in Union County, FL has hit the national media. I don't have the energy to link to it, but if you need a link, say so. The synopsis: A school bus stopped. A car with a bunch of kids in it stopped behind it. A truck slammed into the rear of the car, shoving it into the bus, causing a fire that killed everybody in the car and injured kids on the bus.

And the national media's take on it? "The driver of the car, who only had a learner's permit and was driving illegally...."

This sets me off, because it is, on a small, single accident level, what is wrong with the walking blobs of hairspray who convey the events of the world to us, the hapless recipients of their "news."

The girl's driving status was irrelevant. She was doing the legal, correct thing, stopped behind a school bus, when A BIG FUCKING TRUCK SLAMMED INTO HER CAR AND KILLED HER AND ALL HER SIBLINGS AND COUSINS.

This accident took place in a rural county. As those of you from rural places can attest, kids start driving early in the country. It's not like the Big City, where the Reporters come from, where cops are ready to pull you over for no excuse at all. And this child's driving experience or licensure status IS NOT THE ISSUE. She could have had 6 adult passengers, in which case her learner's permit status would have been totally legal, it would have happened the same way. She could have been in the car with her driver's ed teacher, it would have happened the same way. Her license status is an irrelevancy, but it is IN EVERY FUCKING WIRE STORY. "She was driving illegally...." Yeah, and maybe she was wearing mismatched socks or didn't eat all of her lunch, who gives a fuck because IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE CHAIN OF EVENTS.

Why am I pissed? Not just for her parents, who have to see and hear and read this bullshit irrelevancy over and over, as if the tilt is to blame their dead daughter for being in the car that WAS HIT BY THE BIG TRUCK WHILE LEGALLY STOPPED BEHIND A SCHOOL BUS. I can barely imagine the agony they are in right now, and this idiotic distortion of the accident by EVERY MAJOR NEWS SERVICE is too trivial for them to think about right now.

I'm ranting about this because it is, in a microcosm, what is going on with the Abramhoff story, the wiretap story, the Medicare story, every other thing going on in this country. The walking bags of hairspray have a storyline in their little one dimensional brains. A few days ago, before this terrible accident happened, I had the morning newsbabble on while I was getting ready for work, and one of the topics they were flogging was Young Drivers and The Risks. So when this accident happened, even though the accident had Exactly Jack Shit to do with the status of the girl behind the wheel and everything to do with the truck that HIT HER, it became part of the Ongoing Story. The Young Drivers. I saw the story a bit ago on, maybe it was Today? Citing the statistics about kids who carry passengers are way more likely to get into accidents. So that was the crossover, the bridge, the link to the Theme of the Week, for these useless pancake makeup transport systems we call reporters. They had a hook, and it has gone national. Even though it was not at all a factor in this accident.

So, if her mother, who looks 40ish, had been in the car? Then her driving status would have been totally legal, and it wouldn't have made any difference, because her mother would be dead too, because everybody in the car died. Right now she probably wishes she'd been there too. But the presence of an adult in the car was NOT AN ISSUE. NOT. AN. ISSUE. I'm sickened that the media idiocy is adding pain to parents who are already tortured by "what if." And hearing their daughter described as "driving illegally" when she was stopped behind the goddamn bus like a good driver and not at all at fault in this accident. Guilt by media prattle. It's sickening.

If these useless creatures can't even read the facts and shut up about it, there is no fucking chance that they will ever, ever, be able to report on wiretapping and FISA and Abramoff and all the other shit. They are not about reporting news, they are there to tell stories. And they tell the stories they know. Teenage Drivers Are Bad was a theme this month, so it's the slant of the coverage of this tragedy. The teenage driver behind the wheel was not at fault in any way. Let's see how long it takes for the facts to reach the national media.


cursingmama said...

I was thinking very similar things as the story popped up this morning - I didn't care that she wasn't technically legal....I drove illegally all the damn time (semi-farm kid) and am not surprised by someone driving illegally. But the Media - you'd think the poor girl was standing on the van waving the truck in to hit them the way they're carrying on. My heart breaks for the parents of the children and the way the media is treating them like criminals. I've got prayers to say for them tonight.

caroline said...

true and true. and so horrific for the parents. I hadn't heard the blamefest since I don't much listen to the news and the early online reports didn't mention the drivers' license issue.

you know, maybe a letter to the editor would be appropriate, eh? just to put the other side out there...

Chelle said...

Catherine, excellent point you are making. Those of us in the rest of the country simply aren't hearing the real story. I love the term you use for those reporters "bags of hairspray." Very true. Reporters don't seem to consider their jobs as reporting the news anymore, but in creating a "spin" that will sell whatever story needed to drive up ratings. It must work because they keep doing it, no matter who it hurts, or no matter what serious news is missed by their skewing. Chelle

Bess said...

Here here! What a bunch of crap. Makes me almost want to rant too. Argh!

Once I was misquoted in the local paper and sounded like a moron. I realized how helpless anyone is when it comes to the media, but one thing I really learned. Never use expressive adjectives if you're interviewed. Then you sound like an airhead moron.

Peevish said...

I haven't seen this story, but I can well believe it. Reporters put a spin on their stories, everyone does it. But when it's this blatant, this inflammatory and this WRONG, it simply shouldn't be allowed to go out.

Enjay said...

I agree with you. I was raised in a farming community and learned to drive at the age of 13. I generally only drove the farm truck during haying season back and forth between the field and farm, but many of my friends drove more extensively. It was a safety measure in the days before mobile phones. While I don't agree with why she was driving at the time, I do not believe her licensing status is the issue. the man who hit them stated he wasn't paying attention. Unfortunately some states have laws that state that if you are driving illegally and involved in an accident, you are automatically at fault because you were not supposed to be on the road in the first place. This is the only logical reason I can see for making such a huge issue over her licensing status.
I feel awful for all involved, the family who has lost so much, the children on the school bus, the man who hit them. it's a bad situation all around and the media isn't handling it with grace or dignity.

Catherine said...

I don't think Florida says you are "automatically at fault" for an accident, and I am sure she would have been cited for not having an adult in the car with her, but it's moot because she's dead. That's why it made me so crazy - it wasn't a factor and it's meaningless now. I'm glad to see that this angle has been dropped from local follow-up stories I've seen.

Catvon said...

I so agree with you. It has been bothering me to no end how they have portrayed this. IT IS NOT AN ISSUE I so agree. Okay so if she wasn't on the road then the truck would have hit the bus with another load of children that was on the road legally. What spin would they have put on that. It just gets me how they keep harping on her status.