Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Stop It!

The stupidity continues on the cable nets. Both CNN and MSNBC keep repeating that the mine company knew about 20 minutes after the "miscommunication" the 12 miners were dead, but didn't tell the families for nearly three hours.

Too bad CNN in particular doesn't read its own web site. There they would find this:

Hatfield said he knew within 20 minutes that an error had been made and that not all 12 were alive, but said he did not inform jubilant family members.

"We couldn't correct the information without knowing more about it," he told reporters. "Let's put this in perspective -- who do we tell not to celebrate? All I knew is, there weren't 12 people that were alive. It was somewhere between 12 and zero."

While I do think there was a better alternative than saying nothing, I empathize with Hatfield. Who do you tell not to celebrate? It was certainly a very difficult situation. And perhaps the country, if not the immediate family members, would have been spared a "roller coaster ride" if the cable nets had been responsible and noted that there was no official confirmation of the 13 miners being found alive.

Secondly, MSNBC keep emphasizing that the serviving miner is "heavily sedated," as if there is something terribly significant or telling about that statement. If they truly had listened to the medical professionals (or would bother to ask their own consulting doctors) who have been briefing the media they would know that a person on a ventilator is almost always sedated for their own safety. Being on a ventilator means you have a tube stuck through your mouth, down your throat, into your lungs. Can you imagine what that would feel like? Physical damage may result if the person on the ventilator moves too much. Thus, the heavy sedation.

And a correction. The town is Tallmansville, West Virginia.