They’re calling it “Special Report: Defending the Skies” on CNN

So, there is this whole airplane-near-the-White-House thing happening. I have been listening to the CNN coverage (it’s so circular and repetitive) and I’ve found myself thinking, “Why do they keep talking about this? It wasn’t a real threat, it was a mistake and everything operated well.”

And then suddenly, a guy was giving his first-person account on TV, and I got it. I remembered what it was like to be in that city around 9/11, and how even though, logically, you can accept that you are not a target, it still feels dangerous. I realized that if I were in the Capitol — or if I were one of these newspeople, so used to covering events there and talking to people who work there and all of that — this would feel like a real, immediate story to me.

So, maybe my point here is that I wish the news media would do a better job of communicating things like that in its reporting. But I think, also, somewhere under there, there’s a long story about forgetting what it feels like to think that this is an important, and frightening, development.

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6 Responses to They’re calling it “Special Report: Defending the Skies” on CNN

  1. casapazzo says:

    Er. Yeah, I see what you mean…but at the same time there’s a lot of sensationalism there. I can tell you that, as DC-ers, our office flipped on CNN as soon as we heard about the evacuation, then promptly switched it back off and went about our business 5 seconds later when we realized that it had been a mistake. Granted, we’re not in (or really all that near) the Capitol and the other evacuated buildings, but I’m more inclined to think that the news is harping on about it not because of some deep-seated psychological trauma, but simply because anything that even looks scary makes good news. (Becuase you can give that story crap, dramatic titles like “Defending the Skies.”)

  2. phillyexpat says:

    I work downtown, and I didn’t even realize it had happened until it was over.

    I think the news networks know that people were enthralled with this story and thus have been running it more than it needs to be. It was an inexperience pilot making a mistake. That’s all.

  3. minnaleigh says:

    Definitely to the people living it, it was news. I can only imagine. I heard about it from Sven who heard about it from relatives in Austria who heard “D.C.’ and “red alert” and wanted to check in. We laughed about having to hear about it from people so far away but I think that people worry more when they’re either far away and don’t know where loved ones are or when they’re actually living it.

    But I think, also, somewhere under there, there’s a long story about forgetting what it feels like to think that this is an important, and frightening, development.

    I so so so know what you mean by this. It’s something on my mind a great deal lately.

  4. therealjae says:

    A couple of months after 9/11, my mother said something really insightful to me. “They keep talking about it like it just happened,” she said. “What they don’t realize is that the rest of us aren’t in New York, and we’ve all moved on.”

    I want you to write that long story about forgetting what it feels like to think this is an important and frightening development.

    -J

  5. valkyriemoon says:

    i was in my apartment yesterday, and suddenly thought “hmm, sounds like an airplane… we dont got those”… it was super loud, i had my window open, and it was overtaking all other sounds… and then it stopped… and began again, i figure this was the circling… i just thought it was some kind of air show i hadnt seen advertised (not that i ever would go to an airshow). about a minute later, i – like the dork i am – went to read the nytimes, and at the top was a “breaking news” thing about the evacuations, them saying they went back in after 15 minutes. I just kinda went “huh?” and thought “its obviously was nothing” and went back to procrastinating…

    just thought i’d share

  6. valkyriemoon says:

    and, on another note, i’m really losing my patience with CNN. I can only talk about the website, as I rarely watch it on TV, but it thinks the stupidest things are the most important news. And usually, its stuff I could have told you about a week ago from reading it in another new source. So, my current thought is that b/c they are always days behind on general news, they put up all the “breaking news” they can when they have access to it – even if its stupid – so they seem up to the minute… like right now, 3 of the 10 top stories include the finger in the custard, culkin at the jackson trial, and last nights idol results! I have to think more interesting things have happen since yesterday

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