By John Danz Jr – firstname.lastname@example.org
On a clear Monday afternoon in California, the nation seemed to stop moving for a few moments. Was it another dead celebrity? Not even close – the nation was transfixed on what was reported as a “missile launch” from an indeterminate location.
This missile story reminds me of another gross over-exaggeration by the media in recent history – the late February Chile earthquake that was supposed to bring a massive tsunami to Hawaii. While lives were being ruined and people were dying in Chile, the media took a forecast of 2.5 meter waves in Hawaii and turned into waves of pure bullcrap. Fifty-five nations – 55 NATIONS – were under a tsunami warning, and all eyes were seemingly only on Hawaii. One media outlet called people still walking around outside “stupid.” Well, the people knew what you were willfully ignoring – nothing was going to happen. Hell, there weren’t even 2.5 meter waves, which crushed the spirits of surfers and boogie boarders and validating what those who did a little research already knew.
I wish I could have seen the reactions of people from the Pentagon to this silly, baseless event. Palms on faces all around, and Travelocity most likely saw a spike in page views from sickened citizens wanting to get away from this reactionary culture.
I have come to the conclusion that the media will report on anything, as long as it’s inconclusive enough to be sensationalized and twisted for their purposes. They would report on a pile of dog crap on a Kansas dirt road as long as some moron said that he saw it as a “suspicious package.” Meanwhile, real issues and stories are taking a backseat as usual.
Really, one look at the now iconic image of a vapor trail and you could tell it was anything but a missile. A closer look at the video with a rudimentary knowledge of flight, and you’d definitely know it was anything but a missile. John Pike, the director of the Global Security Organization, put it best: “Airplanes go slow. Rockets go fast. And this is going slow.”
Preschool children everywhere are scoffing and saying “I coulda told you that!”
Of course they could have told us that – but Americans still tuned in, wide-eyed and fearing for a deluge of missiles from North Korea to rain upon the land at any second. Paranoid, shaken and lifeless conspiracy theorists hit the jackpot. A true mark of their intellect is that they STILL think the damn thing was a missile. If conspiracy theorists think the government is out to get them at any second – why don’t they just go somewhere else? Then again, most of them are glued to their basement and would probably melt if they saw the sun.
Sorry for that tangent – I don’t mean to be like the media.
It’s only fitting that a news organization was the first to discover this “missile.” I’m sure the person in that helicopter was planning to get a bigger wallet the moment that contrail appeared in his viewfinder. Is daily life in America so bankrupt and vapid that we have to jump at every piece of news that sounds the least bit dangerous? I’d think by now, given the multitude of stories about violent crime in this nation, that we’ve been so saturated we’d just shrug it off and keep playing FarmVille.
So, the next time the media takes a dump on your television and smears it all over the facts, do yourself a favor and get a squeegee.
John Danz Jr. is a work in progress, who enjoys the freedom of writing. Contact him at email@example.com.