Monday, March 14, 2005

Narratives in the News

One thing I've noticed over the last ten years or so is the growing need in the news media to come up with some kind of "Title" under which to categorize coverage of every major news story: "America, Under Attack!" was all over the place after 9-11; then it became "America Strikes Back!" when we attacked Afghanistan. I remember that I worked in an office during the first couple years of the Clinton Administration where we were subjected to Rush Limbaugh every day, and every hour led off with this deep-voiced guy saying "America -- Under Siege!"

Well, today at The Store I caught a bit of FOX News's continuing coverage of the Atlanta courthouse shootings and the heroic hostage who managed to get away and turn the guy in, and all through the coverage, FOX ran the tagline at the bottom of the screen: "Justice Under Attack". And I'm thinking, "Oh, come on."

That guy wasn't "attacking justice" just because he killed a judge and a deputy and a court reporter; he was a violent criminal committing a violent act in a bid for escape. That was it. Horrible, yes; an attack on an abstract concept, no. So why did FOX need that stupid tagline?

No comments: