Where’s the media?

Tom pointed out to me this morning that there didn’t seem to be a single bit of mainstream media news about Friday night’s Crystal City armed standoff. This isn’t 100% true – it made the 11pm channel 4 news that night, but there’s no sign of it on NBC4.com Similarly there’s no mention on washingtonpost.com that I can find either.

This amazes me. About a quarter-mile of street was shut down for about four hours on Friday, over a dozen machine-gun toting S.W.A.T. officers and who knows how many cops were in attendance and the whole thing concluded with gunfire, albeit a tactical non-fatal (we think!) shot from a police sniper.

And if you weren’t there or don’t know someone who was… it may as well have not even happened.

As someone who’s a dyed-in-the-wool skeptic, if I read an allegation of anything less obvious than “the sun came up this morning” on the web and it’s not corroborated anywhere else I just assume it’s baloney. By my own standard, none of you should believe what I wrote. So this leaves me bordering on shaken – our paper of record makes no mention of an incident this high-profile? What else happens around town that we don’t hear about?

3 Comments so far

  1. Mike (unregistered) on September 25th, 2006 @ 4:21 pm

    The goal of the news media is ratings/sales/pageviews. When a story comes along, it’s not much different than when a studio looks at a movie script. It might be a great script but if it doesn’t fit in with the studio’s current strategy they aren’t going to use it. This story might’ve been attractive but maybe the media weren’t able to get cameras there or get good quotes about it … therefore as far as they’re concerned it didn’t happen.

    In Chuck Klosterman’s last book he was driving through Montana when that big blackout hit NYC. A local guy expressed irritation about how a minor event in NYC is always huge national news but wildfires could rage through Montana for weeks (as they had been) and the national media will never notice.

    Similarly, much of the country has been suffering under severe drought conditions this year. It’s a huge problem in a lot of agricultural areas but good luck seeing a story about it in the news.

  2. Darling Girlfriend (unregistered) on September 25th, 2006 @ 4:26 pm

    I saw the Channel 4 news report with my own eyes … but then again I was trapped on my deck watching the whole thing unfold right in front of me, so I was arguably more interested than the average guy.

    During the situation, it crossed my mind at several points to call the paper or a TV station just so that I could get a better idea of what was happening and what we could expect during the course of negotiations.

    Though the police kept telling the neighbors that they were dealing with a hostage situation, in fact it wasn’t the full truth. The hostage had escaped at 6:30 and called the police from a neighbor’s house.

    It does make me wonder what else happens that never gets reported if this was deemed “not important” enough for the local news.

  3. cheezepowder (unregistered) on September 25th, 2006 @ 10:07 pm

    The story was on the NBC4.com website on Saturday. Here’s the link:

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