Disaster porn or ethical coverage? Houston mom goes OFF on CNN
Mom interviewed by CNN during

Disaster porn or ethical coverage? Houston mom goes OFF on CNN

Posted August 29, 2017 04:21 PM by Rob Eno Mom interviewed by CNN during
Screenshot | CNN
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There is a delicate balance between covering a natural disaster and turning that coverage into disaster porn. The media is an invaluable tool in keeping people informed as danger approaches and during crisis. There is also value in the human interest stories of victims, especially when those stories are of heroism in the face of adversity. Knowing where the line is between that and exploitation is a tough balancing act. In one mother's estimation, CNN crossed the line, and she gave them a piece of her mind.

Here, watch:

Mom: We walked through four feet of water to go get them food on the first day. Yeah, that's a lot of shit. But y'all sit here, y'all trying to interview people during their worst times. Like that's not the smartest thing to do ... like people are really breaking down, and y'all are sitting here with cameras and microphones trying to ask us what the fuck is wrong with us.

The woman then went on to complain about microphones being shoved in people's faces, and the reporter continues to push the microphone closer to her.

That video is both tough to watch, as you feel for the mom who just spent days stranded, and captivating at the same time. And there are lessons to be learned.

The 24/7 media cycle creates a need for content. No content is more easily packaged or more enthralling than scenes of a natural disaster or weather event. The line can be quickly crossed from informational and helpful to disaster porn. That is the showing of misery and despair for ratings and ad revenue.

On the whole, the coverage of the storm by television networks has been intense but respectful. What this mom, who verbalized what many victims must be feeling, reminds us is that beyond what we see on camera, there is a staggering mental toll.

While those of us on the internet argue about whether or not prosperity gospel preacher Joel Osteen should open his church, we overlook the real suffering that in some instances can remain hidden from us behind a mask of determination.

This mom, in her hour of trouble, showed tremendous strength and gave us all a sobering reminder of where the line in coverage is. It's up to all of us to not cross it again.


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Robert Eno is the director of research for Conservative Review. He is a conservative from deep blue Massachusetts but now lives in Greenville, SC. If you see something you’d like him to cover, tweet him @robeno.