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Ken Aven

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Blogs by Ken Aven

5.4
7/30/2008 1:02:51 PM    [ Flag as Spam or Inappropriate ]

It felt strong. I mean it seemed to last a long time. Not only did you feel the swaying but you could hear the rumbling. For a few seconds, those of us who have lived through the Whittier and Northridge California quakes, one had to wonder if indeed this was THE BIG ONE. But thankfully, things began to subside and us earthquake vets knew that most likely we had dodged the bullet for now.

An earthquake is nothing to sneeze at. Especially in such a large area as Southern California. If the quake had continued to gain momentum and reached 6.0 or higher who knows what untold damage might have taken place. The fact that this was the first pretty big shaker since the 1994 6.7 Northridge quake made it a newsworthy event. Local TV and radio should be applauded for breaking into their regular programming to survey the situation and calm the public.

But this foretaste of a future darker reality also showcased the lengths that network/cable news, marketing executives, and an attention deficient populace could go to make a buck or two on a serious situation. With the Los Angeles media market inundated with reporters and ready to go pictures, the story was a cheap way to keep viewers glued to their TV screens for a large part of the day.

The question goes that if a tree falls in the forest but no one is there to record the event, did it actually take place. With a built in infrastructure, there was never any doubt that millions of eyeballs would witness what in the long line of things will be a non event. Literally no one was injured, a few walls collapsed, and a Macy's store had flooding problems. But based on the amount of coverage, one would have thought that LA was indeed sinking into the ocean. Why bring this up? Because recent intense natural disasters in places like China and Taiwan were afforded short shrift by the same news outlets. Not that the news organizations did not want you to know about the "real" suffering in Asia but cost analysis made it prohibitive for news shows to send out teams of reporters and camera people to such far off places. Top news executives know that the cost of such news gathering versus the negligible boost in TV ratings would make such an effort not worthwhile. Thus it is much cheaper and profitable to play up closer to home hurricanes, tornadoes, and smallish earthquakes.

Marketing types were also salivating over the quake. Not much time had passed before tape of Judge Judy and CBS' Big Brother house were passed on to the TV viewers. Folks could be seen steaming out of the judge's "court" and participants in CBS' show were being interviewed about their first earthquake experience. One can not recall seeing much footage of TV and/or movie sets being swept around in the much harsher Northridge quake. But obviously some marketers must have been more awake to this new opportunity to shamelessly get publicity for their shows.

Finally, the public found the quake an easy way to get on television. Cell phones and camcorders were quickly hustled out and common folk took videos of themselves and their surroundings to upload on to YouTube and to pass on to news programs. An at home TV newscaster calmly held his daughter and filmed all around while the quake was taking placed. Teens filmed their overhyped reactions with the hope that maybe their video would become an internet success.

Once again, if the July 29, 2008 earthquake had become a real catastrophe, then we should applaud the fact that so many could stand witness to the potential horror. But the quake was not a problem and untold valuable time was given to what really was a one to two hour story in a cheap way to fill up the ratings. But in a society weaned upon mindless police-runaway vehicle pursuits and not one exposed to true worldwide in-depth reporting what else would anyone expect.

http://inlandechoes.blogspot.com


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More Blogs by Ken Aven
• A Mighty Wind - Monday, November 17, 2008
• Comparisons - Tuesday, November 11, 2008
• It's A Beautiful Day - Thursday, November 06, 2008
• Wednesday Morning - Friday, October 31, 2008
• A Baseball Interlude - Tuesday, October 28, 2008
• Sarah Ambitious - Friday, October 24, 2008
• Food Stamps & Fried Chicken - Sunday, October 19, 2008
• Joe Six-Pack; Joe the Plumber; Joe ... - Thursday, October 16, 2008
• State Of The Race - Sunday, October 12, 2008
• Out Of Ideas - Wednesday, October 08, 2008
• Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid - Saturday, October 04, 2008
• CNN's Targeted Debate Coverage - Tuesday, September 30, 2008
• Decide Already - Saturday, September 27, 2008
• A Pox On All Houses - Tuesday, September 23, 2008
• McCain Quits - Friday, September 19, 2008
• The Mugging Of John McCain - Tuesday, September 16, 2008
• A Time For Truth - Saturday, September 13, 2008
• Barack Huxtable vs. John McCain Brady - Tuesday, September 09, 2008
• The American Family - Friday, September 05, 2008
• Juno For (Vice) President - Tuesday, September 02, 2008
• We Came To Praise Obama and ... Palin? - Saturday, August 30, 2008
• Thank The Clintons - Wednesday, August 27, 2008
• The Narrative In Beijing & Denver - Monday, August 25, 2008
• Give Us Hillary - Wednesday, August 20, 2008
• McCain Wins - Sunday, August 17, 2008
• If It's Tuesday It Must Be Sydney, Athens, Beijing... - Thursday, August 14, 2008
• Olympic Anxiety - Monday, August 11, 2008
• Hawaii Obama-O! - Wednesday, August 06, 2008
• COMEBACKS - Sunday, August 03, 2008
•  5.4 - Wednesday, July 30, 2008  
• ALL STARS & LAYOFFS - Monday, July 28, 2008
• ISOLATING OBAMA - Friday, July 25, 2008
• The Sky Is Falling? - Tuesday, July 22, 2008
• RETRENCHING - Thursday, July 17, 2008
• Summer Sabbatical - Tuesday, July 01, 2008
• We're In It Now - Thursday, June 26, 2008
• Ten Bucks - Sunday, June 22, 2008
• Champions - Tuesday, June 17, 2008
• Meet Mr. Russert - Friday, June 13, 2008
• What Can "Big" Brown Do For You? - Saturday, June 07, 2008
• Memories Going Up In Smoke - Monday, June 02, 2008
• An Evangelical Mindset III - Thursday, May 29, 2008
• An Evangelical Mindset II - Monday, May 26, 2008
• An Evangelical Mindset I - Saturday, May 24, 2008
• Uncle Teddy - Wednesday, May 21, 2008
• Where Is China? - Thursday, May 15, 2008
• To Praise Her Or To Bury Her - Monday, May 12, 2008
• Ninety-Two Percent - Thursday, May 08, 2008
• The Twi-Night Doubleheader - Monday, May 05, 2008
• So What Did You Think Would Happen? - Thursday, May 01, 2008
• The Lamb & The Lion - Sunday, April 27, 2008
• Hillary Beats The Spread - Tuesday, April 22, 2008
• Little House on the Texas Prairie - Friday, April 18, 2008
• What Obama Wanted To Say - Tuesday, April 15, 2008
• The Nature of Things - Friday, April 11, 2008
• Victory Slips Away From Memphis - Monday, April 07, 2008
• Loudness - Friday, April 04, 2008
• Hope Springs Eternal - Tuesday, April 01, 2008
• Tent City, Ontario, California, USA - Friday, March 28, 2008
• Obama: The Unconventional Conventional - Sunday, March 23, 2008
• November Madness - Friday, March 21, 2008
• Trickle Down Disaster - Sunday, March 16, 2008
• Raising Geraldine Lazarus - Wednesday, March 12, 2008
• Forget The Fiction - Monday, March 10, 2008
• Florida Democratic Redo & The Snow Bird Problem - Thursday, March 06, 2008
• A Stumble - Tuesday, March 04, 2008
• A Tear - Sunday, March 02, 2008
• The Semi-Pro ABA - Friday, February 29, 2008
• What Hillary Should Say - Tuesday, February 26, 2008
• Speed of Light - Friday, February 22, 2008
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• Two Strikes On Obama - Sunday, February 17, 2008
• A Passing In The Night - Thursday, February 14, 2008
• Hillary In The Nether World - Monday, February 11, 2008
• Super Tuesday - Final Notes - Saturday, February 09, 2008
• A Look Back At Super Tuesday - Wednesday, February 06, 2008
• Super Bowl Thoughts - Sunday, February 03, 2008
• Why Florida Matters - Wednesday, January 30, 2008
• When Will We Ever Learn? - Saturday, January 26, 2008
• They Are People Too - Tuesday, January 22, 2008
• Fear & Loathing In Vegas - Saturday, January 19, 2008
• An Unholy Trinity and New York's Mayors - Tuesday, January 15, 2008
• The Bucket List - Sunday, January 13, 2008
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• Give It Up For Barack - Thursday, January 03, 2008
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• The Celebrity Conception - Sunday, December 23, 2007
• Oprah Winfrey Presents Barack Obama - Wednesday, December 19, 2007
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• Who Was Robert Hawkins? - Friday, December 07, 2007
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• YouTube, the GOP, and the Bible - Thursday, November 29, 2007
• Romney: Throw Momma Off The Train - Sunday, November 25, 2007
• Thanksgiving 2007 - Wednesday, November 21, 2007
• Six For President - Sunday, November 18, 2007
• Somewhere Over The Hawaii Rainbow - Tuesday, November 13, 2007
• Whole Foods Trickling Down - Sunday, November 11, 2007
• Baseball Instant Replay - Thursday, November 08, 2007
• A Halloween Rape - Monday, November 05, 2007
• A Blue Andy Griffith - Saturday, November 03, 2007
• Double Teaming On Hillary - Tuesday, October 30, 2007
• World Series Snoozer - Saturday, October 27, 2007
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• No Bull - University of South Florida - Tuesday, October 16, 2007
• Congratulations Al - Saturday, October 13, 2007
• Move On With Dignity - Thursday, October 11, 2007
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• Cackle - Sunday, October 07, 2007
• Swarming - Saturday, October 06, 2007
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• Notre Dame - Sunday, September 23, 2007
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• Appearances - Sunday, September 16, 2007
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• Dr. Zaius - General Petraeus - Wednesday, September 12, 2007
• September 11 - Tuesday, September 11, 2007
• Discounted Echoes Books On Sale - Friday, September 07, 2007
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• Labor Day Baseball - American League - Tuesday, September 04, 2007
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• The King of Cable Meets The King - Saturday, August 18, 2007
• Hysteria! - Friday, August 17, 2007
• Baseball As God Intended - Thursday, August 16, 2007
• Nearly Two Hundred Die in Northern Iraq Blast - Wednesday, August 15, 2007
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• Kramer as Merv - Monday, August 13, 2007
• Here Come The Yankees - Sunday, August 12, 2007
• Hammerin' Hank - Saturday, August 11, 2007
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• HBO Presents Ghosts of Flatbush - Friday, July 06, 2007
• $15 Dodger Parking - Sunday, April 15, 2007
• Lucky Luc - Sunday, January 21, 2007
• 21,500 - Monday, January 15, 2007
• Bowled Over - Thursday, January 04, 2007
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• Dodger Blue - Thursday, July 27, 2006
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• English as Offical Language - Saturday, May 20, 2006
• Jorge Posada - Wednesday, May 17, 2006


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