Originally created 02/04/03

Disaster coverage amounts to 'new pornography'



When I read the coverage of the Columbia explosion, I said, "Dear God, not again!"

I was not referring to the orbiter's destruction and the loss of seven lives. I was referring to the incredible insensitivity of the press in reporting the discovery of "body parts." Do we need to know that a piece of leg, from the knee to the foot, was found? Do we need to know that a charred skull was found? Do the families of those dead heroes need to have that plastered in newspapers and on electronic media throughout the world?

My first revulsion at this was when the Value Jet crashed in the Everglades and we were told that, because of the alligators, bodies would probably never be recovered. Is there no sensitivity to the grieving?

Pornography used to be called "referring to prurient interests." Such coverage of disasters, such total disregard for those who mourn, is new pornography. And as with the old pornography, we are all victimized by it, and we are all the poorer because of it.

Justen Wonderly, Evans, Ga.