COMMENTS: Where There Is Smoke…

The appeal of wildfires for television news is that they offer spectacular visuals. When a blaze started on the tinder dry island of Catalina in southern California, fire footage combined with the beauty of the romantic resort town of Avalon to qualify as the lead item on CBS and the Story of the Day. NBC led with fires too--the more smoky, less scenic brush fires in northern Florida. ABC chose a warning from the State Department about a possible attack on US interests in Germany.

The Catalina fire was not dramatic because of the damage it caused. Just "one house and several other structures" were burned CBS' Bill Whitaker acknowledged. Instead there was the view: "Daybreak over Catalina Island revealed a burnt orange sun," declaimed NBC's Michael Okwu (at the tail of the Dawn Fratangelo videostream). There was the drama facing the islanders: "Residents and visitors had little place to go except the ferryboats for evacuation," ABC's Brian Rooney reported. And there were the heroic measures required to reach the flames: CBS' Whitaker called it "a logistical nightmare" to transport mainland firefighters to the scene. Their gear was shipped in by Marines from Camp Pendleton on giant hovercrafts.

The Florida fire, too, was hardly harmful enough to justify attention on the national news. It was started by lightning in the dried-out Okefenokee Swamp in southern Georgia and had spread south. Granted they cast a pall over northern Florida: "The smoke just got heavier and heavier. You can feel it in your eyes, your lungs," complained NBC's Fratangelo. It created "a near whiteout" with residents resorting to facemasks. Air quality was harmed as far south as Tampa and Miami. However, the fire was really only local news: "Amazingly the fire has not destroyed a single home," admitted CBS' Kelly Cobiella.

     READER COMMENTS BELOW:|auto insurance rjt|infinity auto insurance :)))|mortgage nocbzp|credit cards 8-)|infinity auto insurance :[[[|auto insurance 46023|credit cards >:PPP|nj car insurance 402989|online auto insurance quotes tct|visa gift card 492|low cost life insurance vldd|auto insurance quotes skgyap|life insurance %DD|buy online priligy gxjbgs|auto insurance rates mefwo|auto insurance online :O|online college 01986|life insurance =))|ordering priligy wnmq|cheap auto insurance 189|life insurance quotes 314|affordable term life insurance >:DD|car insurence >:(((|online auto insurance quotes zjvmqw

You must be logged in to this website to leave a comment. Please click here to log in so you can participate in the discussion.