America and the European Storm?

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America and the European Storm?

Post #1by t00fri » 19.01.2007, 08:15

After most of Europe was badly shaken yesterday night by a storm with up to 200Km/h wind speeds (hurricane level), with 10 people killed in Germany alone, several 100 million Euro worth of destruction in Germany,...I was curious what was reported about this event in "typical" news media of our American friends.

So I clicked ABC News ...hmm...the closest it came ;-) was the article

" Who got the sexiest legs?"

or perhaps in the NewYork Times:

"South Carolina's New Wilderness" ...


CNN, had it as a central headline.

Bye Fridger
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Post #2by bh » 19.01.2007, 09:12

Ten killed in the UK also. Bloody weather!
regards...bh.

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Post #3by t00fri » 19.01.2007, 12:23

Actually, today I spotted a small video in ABC News about the European storm,

"Storms Batter Europe",

which I was unable, however, to play.

Also today, there was tough competition, e.g. via

"Kidnapped Boy's Parents believe he was molested" or
"Britney's a Swinger!"
"Pants Droppers"
...

Bye Fridger
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Post #4by selden » 19.01.2007, 15:11

ABC is owned by Disney.

It's just another example of how many of the commercial U.S. news services seem to be primarily for entertainment and selling of advertisements, not for information. :(

But this is getting very close to political commentary. Let's not go there...
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Post #5by PlutonianEmpire » 19.01.2007, 15:43

Terraformed Pluto: Now with New Horizons maps! :D

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Post #6by t00fri » 19.01.2007, 15:54

PlutonianEmpire wrote:CNN called it a hurricane: http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/europe/01 ... index.html

CNN had "Kyrill" on their frontpage right away (inclusive images) .

The storm was of hurricane strength, actually reached 200km/h in various areas and affected the WHOLE of Western Europe with comparable strength! That latter feature was highly unusual.

Meanwhile Germany has 11 people killed with similar numbers of casualties for the UK, France and other European countries.
Most casualties were due to trees falling onto cars (with people inside)

A colleague of mine who was to return yesterday by train from giving a talk in Southern Germany had to sleep in the train... All train traffic was closed down throughout the country yesterday in the early evening. A train that my wife often takes to commute to Kiel University, raced into a tree that had fallen onto the tracks. Fortunately, nobody was hurt. Most planes were cancelled as well.

@Selden:

Selden wrote:It's just another example of how many of the commercial U.S. news services seem to be primarily for entertainment and selling of advertisements, not for information.


The media always print/show what the PEOPLE WANT! Because that's how they make most money.

Bye Fridger
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Post #7by PlutonianEmpire » 19.01.2007, 15:58

Yeah, but, isn't it incorrect to call it a hurricane? I read on the forum i found the link in that it (calling it a hurricane) was due to a translation error or something.
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Post #8by t00fri » 19.01.2007, 16:04

PlutonianEmpire wrote:Yeah, but, isn't it incorrect to call it a hurricane? I read on the forum i found the link in that it (calling it a hurricane) was due to a translation error or something.


It certainly was NOT a hurricane, proper. Noone over here called it a hurricane. It was also far too extended for a hurricane. Yet it had the strength of a hurricane as I wrote above.

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Post #9by PlutonianEmpire » 19.01.2007, 16:20

Oohhh, ok. sorry, my bad. :oops:
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Post #10by Vincent » 19.01.2007, 16:43

t00fri wrote:The media always print/show what the PEOPLE WANT! Because that's how they make most money.

I partially agree with you Fridger. IMHO, you miss the fact that in most countries, politics don't give people the ability to developp their critical mind, and even worst, they do everything to prevent people from doing that, precisely by using the media. The media have a plain responsability in the mutation of Homo Sapiens Sapiens into "Homo Consumerus". :wink:
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Post #11by t00fri » 19.01.2007, 17:38

Vincent wrote:
t00fri wrote:The media always print/show what the PEOPLE WANT! Because that's how they make most money.
I partially agree with you Fridger. IMHO, you miss the fact that in most countries, politics don't give people the ability to developp their critical mind, and even worst, they do everything to prevent people from doing that, precisely by using the media. The media have a plain responsability in the mutation of Homo Sapiens Sapiens into "Homo Consumerus". :wink:


Since I definitely dont want to get into political statements as to this discussion, let me remain fairly general.

No doubt there are countries where what you describe is PRECISELY true. I know some from own experience VERY well. Usually, however, cultivating a critical judgement is barely a matter of politics, but rather an outcome of people's OWN desire to educate themselves and their children! This is certainly correct for most European countries and notably also for the US.

Anyway, my above statement exclusively referred to the US, where I cannot see any basis for what you described.

Bye Fridger

PS: The present lack of coverage of the European storm is in perfect sync with my own experience during various longer stays in the US. During a three months' visit at Fermilab/Chicago, for example, we watched every night one of the extended news programs, since our daughter was only 2 years old and hence, there was not much else to do in the evening.

During these 3 months, the ONLY coverage of European matters was a several seconds lasting spot of the Britisch Prime Minister at Downing Street 10, waving hands, and another very similar event related to the German Chancelor!

Note: only a few seconds in 3 months... ;-)

PPS: "Homo Consumerus" is cute ;-)
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Post #12by Toti » 19.01.2007, 17:46

Vincent wrote:The media have a plain responsability in the mutation of Homo Sapiens Sapiens into "Homo Consumerus". :wink:

Or "Homo Videns", in the words of the eminent italian philosopher and political scientist Giovanni Sartori. ;)

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Post #13by Vincent » 19.01.2007, 18:25

Let me just quote Patrick Le Lay, the director of TF1, the most popular french TV channel :

"A la base, le m?©tier de TF1, c'est d'aider Coca-Cola, par exemple, ?  vendre son produit. Or pour qu'un message publicitaire soit per?§u, il faut que le cerveau du t?©l?©spectateur soit disponible. Nos ?©missions ont pour vocation de le rendre disponible : c'est-? -dire de le divertir, de le d?©tendre pour le pr?©parer entre deux messages. Ce que nous vendons ?  Coca-Cola, c'est du temps de cerveau humain disponible". (in "Les dirigeants face au changement", Editions du Huiti??me jour).

That could be roughly translated as :
"The principal mission of TF1 is to help Coca-Cola, for example, to sell their product. And, if you want an advertising message to be received, the viewer's brain has to be available. Our programs' aim is to make the viewer's brain available : that is to say, to entertain it, to relax it to prepare it between two advertising messages. What we sell to Coca-Cola is some time of available human brain." (in "Les dirigeants face au changement", Editions du Huiti??me jour).

Terrifying ! 8O
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Post #14by t00fri » 19.01.2007, 18:51

Disgusting.

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Post #15by ajtribick » 19.01.2007, 20:02

Let's just say that cycling against the wind in that weather while late across town was NOT FUN.

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Post #16by psCargile » 19.01.2007, 20:27

I'm sure there is lots of things that happen the US that aren't considered newsworthy to European media.

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Post #17by Dollan » 19.01.2007, 20:37

A lot of things happen in the US that, oddly, are not deemed newsworthy by the US.

For instance, we in Montana had our own major winter storms over Christmas holiday. My family and I drove over the continental divide in steady winds of about 60mph, with gusts exceeding 120mph. Our vehicle was pelted by pebbles the size of marbles, we were nearly blown off the road numerous times, the entire region was shut down for three days, and there were numerous accidents, some serious. Indeed, our return home was delayed by a day because of the ongoing storm. Some of the rural communities in the region had entire buildings demolished....

Not only was there barely a minute-long spot on the local news, but nationally we were ignored over how "freezing" the east coast was. I understand that temperatures in the low teens (Farenheit) is cold over there, but we routinely have weather -20 F, with a wind chill about -45 F in the winter. No news.

It is indeed true that the news agencies will report what the consumer finds most immediate and most engaging. Winter storms in our own mid-west have taken precedence over European weather, certainly (though I have seen regular, if abbreviated coverage of Europe's wintry plight), but even that is being over-written by absolutely vapid news stories of late.

Tell me, why should I care if Lindsey Lohan went to rehab after the awards? Why is that front page news? :lol:

I can't help but laugh, anymore, and rely on the immediate news in the form of email alerts. I figure that if the world is going to be coming to an end, or some such thing, I'll get it in my inbox before CNN gets around to reporting it....

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Post #18by Christophe » 19.01.2007, 20:44

t00fri wrote:200km/h in various areas and affected the WHOLE of Western Europe with comparable strength!


I'm not sure about that, I didn't notice anything unusual here in Lyon. I was in Paris on Wednesday and there was some wind but nothing disturbing. This storm may have had coverage on TV but I don't watch it much these days, there is no trace of it on lefigaro.fr or lemonde.fr from which I get my news fix. I did hear about it on the radio, but it wasn't much more than one sentence.

In defence of the French media though, much of their attention is taken by the coming presidential elections, and none of their headlines are as superficial as their US counterparts'.

About Le Lay's infamous quote, he is a very cynical man who comonly makes such outrageous comments. Although the formulation is shocking I agree with him, the responsibility of the TV programs' quality lies in the hands of the public. People are always prompt in criticizing TF1's low quality programs, the matter of the fact is that it is by far the first French TV network. If people want to get education from TV, there are excellent programs on France5 or Arte for example, the choice is there at the viewers' fingertips.
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Post #19by t00fri » 19.01.2007, 21:07

Christophe wrote:
t00fri wrote:200km/h in various areas and affected the WHOLE of Western Europe with comparable strength!

I'm not sure about that, I didn't notice anything unusual here in Lyon. I was in Paris on Wednesday and there was some wind but nothing disturbing. This storm may have had coverage on TV but I don't watch it much these days, there is no trace of it on lefigaro.fr or lemonde.fr from which I get my news fix. I did hear about it on the radio, but it wasn't much more than one sentence.


Actually then you were lucky. In Hamburg we were also comparatively lucky. But most of Germany was pretty much unlucky. Britain and Holland were even worse.

People got killed in Germany (11), in Britain (13), in the north of France (3), Belgium (>2), Tschechia (>3) and Poland (>4).

In Austria 150 000 households were without electricity
for an extended period.

Meanwhile they have officially added up the bill: in Europe > 40 people killed, in Germany alone > 1Billion Euros worth of damage.

Good you didn't notice what was going on. ;-)

Here is some practicing in German for you

http://www.tagesschau.de/

(but hurry up the content is going to change...)

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Post #20by Toti » 19.01.2007, 23:29

Christophe wrote:(...) the responsibility of the TV programs' quality lies in the hands of the public. (...) the choice is there at the viewers' fingertips.

Whilst this is ideally true, the reality is (as always) much more complex and evasive...

Over here, this argument is by far the favourite of most partidaries (and benefiters, of course) of sensationalism-driven media. Like with most of the liberal mantras, there's always a hidden trap, a paragraph written in tiny letters: in this case they know for sure that most people will *always* opt for the most degrading material. But in the meantime, it's very comfortable for them to remind us that they are no more than simple intermediaries, to transfer to the audience the full responsibility for what's shown, and thereby present the dictatorship of morbidity under the benevolent light of a democratic free choice.


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