Sunday, September 15, 2013

While News Stories Wail About a Few Burnt NJ Boardwalk Shops ...

What's the story here? A suspicious fire on a Jersey Boardwalk that burned down some pizza joints and carny booths, a bar, an ice cream stand and an unoccupied arcade after a very poor summer season? Or devastating floods in communities at the Front Range of the Rockies, with more than 1,000 people still unaccounted for?

Well, it's a wonderment, because there seems to me to be a disproportionate amount of media attention continuing toward a stretch of unoccupied joints that caught fire in a Jersey boardwalk town after the summer season, while a major disaster is unfolding in an area stretching 200 miles north to south along the eastern foot of the Rockies, where five people are reported dead and 1,500 homes destroyed so far.

Back East, New Jersey Gov. Chris ("Thar She Blows") Christie, who by most guesses is hoping to run for president, continued to use his considerable media savvy to dominate overblown coverage of the Seaside Park, NJ, boardwalk fire, in which 30 or 40 shops, wooden structures all, burned in a blaze that followed a very poor summer season.

The cause is under investigation. Fire Marshal Christie warns gravely not to pay undue attention to the arrival on the scene of investigators from the U.S. Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Who knows, they might just be on a day-trip to ride the bumper cars -- since most of the Seaside Heights Boardwalk was actually unaffected by the suspicious fire.

It's Day Three after the fire in a tacky Jersey boardwalk town that few media grandees would be caught dead actually visiting, and we're still seeing tearjerk stories about vows to "rebuild" on an "iconic" Boardwalk -- as if a tragedy of immeasurable proportion had ensued there, rather than a big fire in which some unoccupied wood buildings burned down -- or were burned down. Cue the wailing pleas for emergency federal and state aid.

Meanwhile, in northern Colorado, along the Front Range, the downpours continued today and the National Guard had to ground helicopters searching for survivors. The flood damage was staggering, and it's getting worse.

So, really now, what's the top news?

Is this the big story?

...Or this?

Here's a link to the Colorado Office of Emergency Management, with updated flood emergency and relief information.


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