Thursday, May 15, 2008


At least 35,000, or maybe four times that number, dead in Myanmar. Another 30,000-plus killed in China. It's news, even big news, but it's not the Mother of All News. The MOAN designation is attached only to the events we see for ourselves, when it's our shoes on the ground, our nose filled with the pungence of mayhem.

Unfair but true; subjective but real. It's the Law. McClurke's Law.

Reportedly named after a jaded BBC editor, McClurke's Law holds that some deaths are worth more. NBC journalist Martin Fletcher's Breaking News -- a helluva read, even if you don't work in a paragraph factory -- includes McClurke's Law:
One hundred thousand Bangladeshis killed in a flood equals 10,000 Africans killed by famine equals 500 Egyptians eaten by crocodiles on the Nile equals five British soldiers killed in Northern Ireland equals two of the queen's corgi dogs run over by a bus.
Rue the day when the U.S. has to endure a death toll equivalent to a dozen Sept. 11ths. The ensuing coverage may kill us all.


Anonymous said...

equals one white hick chick missing in aruba.

Anonymous said...

Your Attention Please: St. Peter just resigned.