Tsunami recedes. Fake media tears dried up long ago

Now that Anderson Cooper and the other empathy-vultures have finally packed up their ninety-five cameras and left Southeast Asia, the Sunday New York Times Magazine asks the logical question: Are “gesture politics” here to stay? Are people more interested in Bush saying the right, soothing words at the exact flashpoint of sensational (mostly white) hand-wringing rather than knowing that he’ll actually send the hundeds of millions he’s promised the flood victims ?

From our vantage point on Broadway, Fishbowl has never seen quite so many instant media crocodile tears when the tsunami wiped out 225,000 people. We also never saw such teary, genuine interest dry up so fast. On the whole, as the body count climbs and the story the networks rushed to cover gets exponentially worse each day, the more the media spectrum’s disgust with it grows. Because we’ve given them more than their 15 seconds, plus flags at half-mast all along Fifth Ave. What more do these people want? Not the actual cash (over four billion, counting the EU’s pledges), surely?

The Times cites the Independent, which calls Prime Minister Tony Blair’s failure to cut short his vacation when the killer waves hit “a colossal act of disrespect,” signalling that he somehow “failed to grasp the essence of leadership.” Nice to know it isn’t just our own media that’s driven by cheap of-the-moment mass hysteria, but that our Cousins suffer from it, too. Guys, pick one: Timely gesture that assuages White Guilt, or gobs of money actually delivered to the people whose hurt feelings you profess to protect with your ink?

Quick. This is not a trick question.

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