Katrina: Scaring Viewers With Lower 3rds?

By Brian 

A TVNewser contributor analyzes the content of Nancy Grace:

“On Nancy Grace Friday night, as Grace talked with a succession of CNN correspondents about the continuing plight of hurricane victims in New Orleans and elsewhere and played a series of clips of sobbing survivors, the on-screen text remained obsessively focused on crime and violence in the city, some of it very dubious reports, at best.

A sample:

> Looting and rioting continue

> Police and troops work to stop looters and thugs

> Armed gangs roaming New Orleans

> Police are abandoning their posts

> Police forced to leave convention center in New Orleans

> Police locked themselves in their headquarters in fear

> Police; Armed gangs outnumber, outgun police

Rioting? Armed gangs roaming New Orleans and outnumbering police? I don’t know where this stuff comes from because I sure haven’t seen any responsible reporting to that effect, but maybe I’ve missed something.

It’s pretty consistently been the case on many networks that while the anchors and correspondents aren’t talking very much about this kind of stuff, the headline writers — and the people who decide which clips to run over the talking-head interviews — remain fixated on the most alarming rumors of violence they can come up with.

What’s the deal here? Are marketing people hoping to scare viewers into watching in charge of the on-screen text or what?”