In 2008, I wrote an email to a talk show host, asking him for his opinion on the national lack of interest of the floods of 2008 and the Parkersburg tornado. Most of us here in Iowa didn’t quite understand why one natural disaster (Hurricane Katrina) got more publicity and attention than another. I contended that both were of priority and attention with respects to lives lost, the severity of the disaster, and the help that was given.
Rev. Alan Rudnick of “On the Bema in Ballston” echoed the same sentiment regarding the Nashville floods. His observations on why Nashville ended up taking a back seat to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico resonates to me. It was the same answers that the talk show host gave me two years ago. Rev. Rudnick pointed out three primary reasons for Nashville not getting more attention than it should right now.
- The oil spill and immigration took over the headlines. In 2008, the presidential race took over the headlines.
- The public loves sensationalism. Media outlets like CNN, MSNBC, and Fox, to name a few, arrived in Parkersburg, Cedar Rapids, and other Iowa communities, looking for stories to sensationalize to a high degree. Iowans are not known to ruminate about what we lost. We were focusing on helping our fellow neighbors get back on their feet. Secondly, we didn’t spend our time blaming others for what happened, or what could have been done.
Mother Nature doesn’t care about assigning blame either. She enforces her wrath on anyone, anyplace, at any time.
- We all have “news ADD”. News A(ttention) D(eficit) D(isorder) has become commonplace in our lexicon and way of life. Something happens, we’re shocked, angry, want something done, feel empathy for who was affected, and then we move on when the shock is over. It’s no longer “appealing” to us.
While Rudnick feels that more attention should be paid to Nashville, I feel that Nashville shouldn’t waste their time worrying about the lack of national attention. It’s a major distraction to the efforts and the will of Tennesseeans to help each other in this time of great need.
We have a responsibility as fellow citizens to help those in need everyday. With or without the cameras being around.