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Letter to the Editor: TV Coverage of Sandy Was Exploitation

One reader thinks TV news sensationalized Hurricane Sandy entirely too much.

To the editor:

Pathetic how television coverage of Hurricane Sandy has declined to a point where it turns my stomach.

I have watched the last four days and was witness to TV reporters covering the event as if it were the Super Bowl. They sensationalize the actual storm with the mandatory shot of a reporter standing outside in the wind and rain, elaborating the obvious by telling us how dangerous it is and not to go outside. Then when the storm is over and people are returning to their homes for the first time, there they are sticking a microphone in some poor soul's face and asking "How do you feel seeing this devastation for the first time?"  

How do you think they feel? I ask you, what good does it do the viewer to witness these unfortunate people at the low point in their lives? Also, they love telling you how they have helped a few people along the way, giving themselves a generous pat on the back. That is not TV coverage; that is exploitation for the sake of ratings. 

Shame on them. 

Robert Gwynn

Do you want to submit an letter to the editor? Here's how.

Ric November 06, 2012 at 01:54 PM
Is this a joke? Are you for real? Have you seen the devastation down at the shore? I am offended you trivialized the suffering of many millions of New Jerseyians and New Yorkers among others. Please, if TV News offends you watch a DVD or two
Louis November 06, 2012 at 06:13 PM
I don't think Ric get's your letter. So let me try to break it down in smaller words you might understand. Mr.Gwynn isn't trivializing the suffering people are going through. He's commenting on how the media is covering the suffering. Reporters showing up when an old lady sees her home of the last 50yrs in ruins and asking her, "Are you saddened by seeing your life destroyed?" The point of the story isn't to say that he's tired of seeing all the devastation, he's tired of the media getting higher ratings for the coverage and the reporters who ask "the hard hitting questions". To think someone is just plain tired of seeing the coverage of the after effects is just plain dumb. I certinly hope this clarified the content of the letter for you. If not I can have my 5yr old draw you a picture.
Ric November 06, 2012 at 07:03 PM
@Louis. I got his letter. I also know when tragedy strikes, as part of the healing process; I find it cathartic being asked how I am bearing up. Just being able to express the pain is very helpful. Neither Gwynn nor you have the right to demand the media ignore the suffering of the victims of hurricane Sandy. If watching victims talk of their pain is too much for you, the Cartoon Network is not running any news.
Jake Lippincott November 06, 2012 at 08:22 PM
WOW, I'm amazed and how the two of you have grown "computer muscles", sort of like "beer muscles". Anyway i agree with Robert to some extent but I do believe that as much as i hate to admit it, if the news didn't cover the worst parts of the storm, there are a lot of people that wouldn't give to help the effort to rebuild. I don't just mean money either, I mean volunteering, providing clothes, food, etc. Just a thought. JL Cinnaminson
MicheleM November 06, 2012 at 11:54 PM
Well Robert, here's what you need to realize...the images of the damage done by Sandy are what motivated somne people to donate to the victims of Sandy. Also, no one I saw being interviewed looked as though they were being forced to appear on camera. Finally, if the coverage bothered you so much you were free to switch on HBO, AMC or pop in a DVD.
Louis November 07, 2012 at 04:06 AM
Let's not drag Cartoon Network into this! And I don't drink beer anymore, I tore through too many shirts flexing. But seriously, I do think the media exploits victim's of tragedy. Some more than others, but all to suite their own purpose. Ratings. And healing begins at home with family and friends, not the 6 o'clock news. It's bad enough hearing stories like the guy who scalded his 3 month old baby because she wouldn't stop crying. But do we really need to hear from the downstairs neighbor who swears "he's the perfect parent"?! Yes, I know the stories are unrelated. But the point is the same. We can see the devastation. We can hear the mayor talk about how his communtiy need help and donations would be greatly appreciated. And I can appreciate that no one is forcing them to be on TV, but whether they realize it or not they're being exploited. Furthermore, I'm demanding nothing of the media. If I don't want to watch it, I can and do change the channel. Ric's response just seemed overly aggressive for the situation. And why won't this let me reply to Ric's post? On another note, I really enjoy being able to have a discussion with my neighbors on the Patch! This site is brilliant! I like getting to have intelligent(?) conversations with people when I normally wouldn't. We may not agree or even begin to see eye to eye. Being able to voice my opinion and complete my thought, then have my neighbors respond is fantastic.Every town should have something like this! Be safe,all!
Patrick McD November 07, 2012 at 04:20 AM
"Ric's response just seemed overly aggressive for the situation" seems this way on the last few post to the editor that I have seen. I try not to watch the news for these same reasons. Patrick McD
Skitch November 07, 2012 at 04:38 AM
Honestly,my opinion is the news didn't show the half of it. LBI is completely annilated in most parts. It will never be ready in time for summer. Will take years to rebuild. I have a 2nd house in Beach Haven West (Manahawkin) where 5' of water went in the back of the house and exited thru the front. Not one piece of furniture, appliance, sheet, towel was salvagable. I was only able to bring home my kitchen dishes from the upper cabinets. I consider myself lucky that i have another house to come home too. A lot of the other poor souls don't. My street looked like a bomb blew up. The contents of every house on the street is now sitting at the curb. That is..... if they were fortunate enought not to have a wall blow out in the side of their house or a drifting boat blast a hole in it and have all their property wash away. Beach Have West looks good when compared to LBI.
Ric November 07, 2012 at 12:32 PM
Louis, I have suffered enough tragedy in my life. And especially the first time, I would express my pain to anyone who would listen. Like many people, I have always relied on the comfort of strangers. It is hard discussing your pain to a family member who is grieving as you are. I heard a news account the other day I cannot shake. An uncle belted a small boy for 45 minutes and broke the first belt before the boy died. I cannot begin to control my rage. Yes, the neighbors are idiots. But perhaps by seeing people on TV say they did not realize it might ring a bell in someone else and they would save another child. I do not support the death penalty but I will look the other way if this uncle gets tossed alive into a lit furnace.
Ric November 07, 2012 at 12:41 PM
Welcome to Patch. I see this is your first message. Whatever.
Ric November 07, 2012 at 05:04 PM
Skitch, I feel for you. Even though you still have a home to go to, you still lost a family home. How are your neighbors holding up? It must be awful for all of you. I hope you all have good insurance and get aid that helps you recover in full. Good luck,
tocman November 07, 2012 at 11:55 PM
Good discussion. Although you (as you always do) strayed from the topic, that is the MEDIA'S handling of the storm. I've noticed that when you post here there are attack dogs who nit-pick your "letter to the editor" just, it seems, for the sake of disagreeing with you even though they make a point which is not applicable to the topic. I've always thought letters to the editor are expressed to complain, or suggest or even compliment some local topic or respond to someone who did. It seems it has become a chat room for some. In that vain, thank you Louis for taking up the fight, you and several others actually got my point.
Louis November 08, 2012 at 02:17 AM
Which is what prompted my original response. And although Ric and I may agree to disagree, I do feel that we have indeed found some common ground. Also, you are right, Robert, of all the posts I've put on the Patch, this has been a very good discussion! My family and I will continue to pray for the families who have suffered a loss. Be it property or loved ones. I can only hope the folks who live at the shore full time are safe as the temperature drops and grows worse yet again.


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