I got home from the wrestling matches Tuesday night and turned on the television before I started scrambling some eggs.
The TV came on with CNN reporting on the jubilation and celebration coming outside the Sago Mine where it was just learned that 12 miners survived 44 hours following the explosion that rocked the small West Virginia coal-mining community. The news cameras showed people running through the dark, carrying cell phones, and answering questions from the people they passed. The good word spread quickly.
I felt good for the people of that community, watched a little longer, and then changed the channel to watch something else. I started flipping around the channels and got sucked into a movie. By this time I was totally distracted from the real world and stared bleary-eyed at the movie. When it ended, I clicked it back to CNN to turn off the tube and hit the hay.
Anderson Cooper, the up and coming CNN anchor, was standing in the dark in West Virginia and listening in disbelief as one of the news network's reporters explained to him that the 12 miners did not survive and word was being spread that there was only one survivor recovered by rescuers from the mine.
The look on Cooper's face reminded me of the live radio broadcast of the German airship Hindenberg coming into the dock at Lakehurst, N.J., in 1937. No, I wasn't there wise guys. I've heard the tapes. The giant airship was longer than three 747's end to end and it was filled with hydrogen. As it approached a mooring mast, it went boom into a ball of flame. The reporter covering it went from describing a normal docking procedure of one of the biggest airships ever built to shock and emotion. He never stopped reporting, it just got emotional. He was fired for not keeping his cool.
Anyway, back in West Virginia, Anderson Cooper had this look that said "Say, what?" He asked the question over and over that we all wanted to know: How could something like this happen?
It's called the overwhelming need for information and information now. We no longer can wait for the facts to assemble into the story line; we need it now. And we're going to pay for it in painful ways. — Roger Morris