January 4, 2006

"'All of a sudden we heard the families in a euphoric state..."

AP reports:
Families gathered at the Sago Baptist Church began running out of the church and crying just before midnight, yelling "They're alive!" After two days of keeping vigil, they celebrated joyfully as church bells rang in jubilation.

As an ambulance drove away from the mine carrying what families believed was the first survivor, they applauded, not yet knowing there were no others.

The governor later indicated he was uncertain about the news at first. When word of survivors began circulating through the church, he hadn't heard it, he said.

"All of a sudden we heard the families in a euphoric state, and all the shouting and screaming and joyfulness, and I asked my detachments, I said, 'Do you know what's happening?' Because we were wired in and we didn't know," Manchin said.
Very sad. The hunger for good news must have been so strong. If one man could survive, would you not leap to believe they all did?

UPDATE: Sissy Willis describes what the euphoria and crash from euphoria looked like on TV in the middle of the night.

11 comments:

Sissy Willis said...

Unfortunately, CNN's Anderson Cooper & Company only fanned the fires of hope against hope. Now they're trying to spin it away from themselves by playing "the blame game" early and often.

Watching sausage being made

ALH ipinions said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ALH ipinions said...

With the 24/7 media obsession with the scoop, I'm not all surprised that this insult was added to the tragedy of those grieving families.

If media hounds had no time to fact check on this story being played out internationally, just imagine...?)

Meet the press: Careless, lazy and mercenary!

SteveR said...

In watching off and on the story unfold, I heard only one guest speak with any knowledge of what my be happening below ground, otherwise it was a lot of speculation that from 2500 miles away I knew was not accurate and did not have any value. But they have to cover it lest their competitors get a edge they can brag about, vamp, vamp, interview some marginally involved person, but don't back off.

In the end a tragedy compounded by misunderstanding and wishful thinking, gets lost in the worst media circus since .. well Katrina.

I detect a trend.

Eli Blake said...

In today's electronically wired age, everyone wants to get the story out there first.

This was a sad night (Victoria and I discussed it as it was happening on yesterday's mining board). Right now isn't the time for finger pointing. Let the community bury their dead, there will be plenty of time later to investigate what went wrong.

SteveR said...

Well mary I am going to blame the media, not for causing the accident or even miscommunicating the status of the miners, but for over reporting. When events happen, plans succeed or fail, emotions soar, its ridiculous for the professional media to end up looking so unprofessional.

What could be more worthless than to ask the farm owner in PA, on whose property the rescue occured three years ago, what equipment the rescusers needed down in the mine in West Virginia?

Once again they did a lousy job and should be called on it.

SteveR said...

Mary: good idea and one which I use. My concern, and my reason for making it an issue here (aka blowing off steam) is that things I do care about and think are important are consistently mishandled by the media. And usually not in such an obvious way.

And its more than an issue of bias, which is arguable, I think they do a poor job and never seem to learn from it. They should do better.

Wade_Garrett said...

I went to bed thinking the miners were safe, and woke up to this terrible news. I feel so badly for those poor families . . . just the other day, I was reminded that the networds first reported that the Israeli athletes taken hostage at the Munich Olympics were all rescued, only to report later than they had all been killed on the airport tarmac. It must be difficult to balance the need for fast news with the need for accurate news, but somebody should have stepped in to correct the problem a lot sooner than 3 hours after the fact. I can't imagine what those families are going through!

I read yesterday that this particular mine had been cited for all sorts of safety code violations in the past year. That must only add to the families' anger and frustration.

Robert said...

This is yet another example of christians that just aren't praying hard enough. --or no, this is just all part of God's great plan. It was God's will that those men died and God will make the end result good.

vbspurs said...

I'm not sure if Sissy and others saw it in real-time, but on Fox, Bill Hemmer (who was interviewing a family participant on the phone -- shortly after 1:00 AM), had an odd grin of...not sure what.

Disbelief?

I thought he didn't exactly believe what the person was telling him about the reactions' of the crowd around him, since he kept hammering at him to get others on the phone.

For a brief moment, I was reminded of the prank calls to news networks about the Princess Diana crash.

It looked for all the world that Bill Hemmer wasn't buying it.

What was it that Ronald Reagan once teased Mikhail Gorbachev about Russian proverbs once?

"Believe, but verify"

I rather thought that's what the press had to do before reporting on a story, especially in real-time, -- else they're as good as us pajama-clad bloggers, no?

Cheers,
Victoria

Steven said...

Mary --

Neither the company nor the government ever confirmed the "12 of 13 survived" story. CNN took an utterly unconfirmed rumor and pasted it all over the world. That's not the fault of anyone other than CNN, and nobody owes an apology for that other than CNN.

Sure, it took a few hours before the people who knew corrected CNN. It takes time to double-check information (to make sure it is accurate), contact the families, and arrange to release it directly to the families (instead of impersonally, through, say, CNN). In any case, correction in 20 minutes instead of three hours would still have put the families through emotional whiplash.

Look, the company is clearly responsible for the accident. But the company shouldn't have been forced in the situation where it needed to correct CNN; CNN is solely responsible for the raising of false hopes.