Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Wednesday is Full of Woe

Such a sad start to the new year. Prayers and thoughts going out to the families of those West Virginia miners who so tragically died Monday morning while starting into the coal mine for their work shift. Plus the added grief of misinformation about the recovery of the bodies. First the families were told the miners were alive, which turned out to be false information, as a result of party line style rumor. Remember the old party line telephone service? Or the childhood game of telephone where a person would whisper in the ear of another and this would continue until the last person would say outloud what she had been told? It was never right.

So, after 3 hours of thinking their loved ones were alive, the families and friends learned this was not the case. Only one survivor was to be pulled out of the mine. Everyone wishes him well.

Equally disturbing to me was the rush to start questioning the mining company on the safety of the mine. I kept thinking, please, let's get the men out and then the other stuff can go on. If it were my husband down there, finger pointing would be the last thing I would want to waste energy on. First things first.

I suppose the media is suffering from post-hurricane fatigue but did they learn nothing from it? Even the major newspapers, such as The New York Times and USA Today ran with the survivor story to meet the deadlines for the papers. It wasn't confirmed information from the mining company or even the governor of the state, but the deadline must be met so they rushed to print it as the truth. Just like the false information about the behavior of some in the New Orleans Superdome and the reaction by the chain of command, it just wasn't correct.

The governor of West Virginia, Governor Manchin, has been a rock through it all. Very interesting perspective from him as he lost an uncle in the 1968 mining tragedy nearby. It had been the worst disaster up until Monday for the mining community in West Virginia. His emotion is genuine and it comes through the camera lens that way. He doesn't appear to be just another politician putting it on for the press conference.

Such a dangerous way to make a living. Doesn't get more real than that.


srp said...

So very sad and the media makes things worse, as usual. They are ready to hype up the town and the nation into a frenzy. Then come the lawsuits. Then the company will have to close the mine and possibly go under to pay all the awards and the town will completely die. Makes a lot of sense. Sometimes things just happen.

And the press learn a lesson? A certain very hot place would have to freeze over first.

poopie said...

Yep...I've about had it with the media and the money grubbing. It is a sad and terrible thing in and of itself, without all the extra drama.