Wednesday, June 23, 2010

JDM on the Exploitation of Grief

As a confirmed news junkie, watching local news and, whenever possible, at least two of the networks, I am increasingly furious at the trend in local and national news for more and more invasions of the privacy of grief, and the jackass questions the young Airedales use to prime the tear ducts.
'Mrs. Brown, what did you think when the hurricane smashed your home?'

'Mr. Collins, what was your reaction to the death of your newborn quintuplets?'

'Miss Green, what was your thinking when they arrested your brother for the murder of his wife?'

All these people in crisis conditions have watched a lot of television. Now the lights and lenses are on them. In their genuine shock and grief they have no one to emulate but those gilded, glossy, improbable, two-dimensional actors in the soap operas, empty people who make a living giving dramatic and inaccurate imitations of reality.

And so the lens comes in tight and close to capture thirty-two seconds of an imitation of an imitation of pathos.
-- from "Exploitation of Grief"
JDM's entry in the November 1985 "Mad as Hell Issue" of National Lampoon.

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