So, I have M$ Messenger set up on my computer to send me “breaking news” alerts. I did this in the wake of Sept. 11 and then the ‘War in Iraq,’ mainly because I wanted to know if some bad mo-jo was going down that I should know about (e.g., duck and cover).

So how the hell does “Judge unseals Kobe arrest warrant” qualify as breaking news? There are thousands of such assault cases each year, many involving children, and this one gets profiled because the person accused is a basketball player.

Who cares?

I wish I could better control my alerts. If there’s an attack somewhere, notify me. If I should get out of downtown DC because of some danger, please let me know. If yet another celebrity of one sort or another has a personal problem, or it’s another high profile case while millions of others not involving celebs go unnoticed, pass me by.

Better yet, I’d like to see some real alerts:

Hundreds of thousands of children go hungry in world’s richest nation!

Health care providers raise rates, provide less service!


3 Responses to breaking news?

  1. dave says:

    amen. amen. amen. amen.

  2. Ryan says:

    I love it when you get indignant. but seriously. While I am glad that some sort of sexual violence case gets publicity, I wish it wasn’t always the sort of case where we;re used to rooting (and I mean literally rooting) for the rapist. Between the villainization of Anita Hill to the woman who accused Cowboys receiver Michael Irvin of rape, only to be bullied (I speculate here) into saying she made it all up, the hundreds of sexual assault charges that register nary a blip on the radar seem to always get lost under the Kobe and Mike Tyson cases of the world.

  3. chuck says:

    When I was teaching argument by definition in mt freshman composition courses, I used this example to illustrate how your definition (and our definition as a class) of breaking news was quite a bit different than MS Messenger’s. I do think that Ryan’s points about Kobe’s case, its treatment of sexual assault, are very important and haven’t been adequately addressed in the discussions of the case that I’ve read.

    Of course, maybe MS Messenger meant “broken news,” that is, the news needs fixing because we keep covering the wrong stuff or that the media keeps getting it wrong…

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