mabfan (Michael A. Burstein) (mabfan) wrote,
mabfan (Michael A. Burstein)

An Odd Juxtaposition

I subscribe to breaking news updates from a local television station on my iPhone, and on Tuesday afternoon I received two updates within the space of a few hours that made me wonder exactly what defines a breaking news item. Which of these is important enough to warrant sending a message out to subscribers?

The first breaking news update was that Conan O'Brien was refusing to do The Tonight Show at 12:05 following Jay Leno.

The second breaking news update was that a 7.3 magnitude earthquake had hit Haiti.

The second one kind of puts the first one in perspective, doesn't it?

To Conan's credit, even in his own public letter bemoaning the unfairness of his situation, he acknowledges how lucky he really is to be in his position. As many of my friends might say, Conan is dealing with a first-world problem, and nothing made that clearer than the sudden third-world problem the citizens of Haiti found themselves facing.

I help organize a weekly political discussion lunch at work on Wednesdays, and people who gathered were interested in discussion both Leno/Conan and Haiti. There was some feeling that the Leno/Conan story was much more trivial, and a few people seemed almost embarrassed that they wanted to discuss it.

And yet...

The world doesn't stop for disasters, either private ones or public ones. When my father died, I kept thinking that the world had stopped, and why didn't everyone else see that? When 9/11 happened, the world seemed to stop, but in truth, other aspects of life moved forward (such as the postal increase that was announced on that day). And sometimes the scope of a tragedy is so huge that we need the release of trivial matters to help us to cope.

Anyway, that's a thought for the day.
Tags: personal, television, world-news

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