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When TikTok Does a Better Job Reporting the News Than the News

By Petr Navovy | Social Media | February 15, 2023 |

By Petr Navovy | Social Media | February 15, 2023 |


I’m sure by now everyone’s heard of the mini-apocalypse that’s unfolding in East Palestine, Ohio—though that awareness is probably more in spite of what the mainstream media has been doing, rather than because of it. No surprises there I suppose, but the response of the capitalist media to the catastrophic train derailment that took place at the start of February and has been poisoning the air, the land, the water, and killing off scores of animals, has been … almost cartoonishly disproportionate, even by its standards.

Most of the reporting I’ve seen from the corporate media has been around the effects, the people, and the technocratic obsession with how things are being fixed. The Bezos Post reported:

Some nights, resident Eric Whitining told The Post, the air smells like an “over-chlorinated swimming pool” and his eyes burn.

Incredibly, CNN focused on the ‘grim humor’ some residents are using to deal with the situation, with a significant angle of the reporting referencing the Noah Baumbach film White Noise:

In a way, the movie has provided a point of grim humor about the situation facing the residents of East Palestine - the joke no one wanted to make.

“Everybody’s been talking about that,” Ratner said of his friends and neighbors who are keeping in close touch through the crisis. “I actually made a meme where I superimposed my face on the poster and sent it to my friends.”

As for the causes—the reasons why East Palestine and a terrifyingly large portion of the surrounding area has been poisoned with lethal substances—that barely seems to figure in any of the reporting.

In a properly functioning world, the people and the corporations and the politicians and the political models behind this would be front page news now, and we wouldn’t have to wait for Mark Ruffalo to show us it all in a film.

But at least we have TikTokkers I guess!

It’s estimated that 25 million Americans live in an oil train blast zone. Maybe something should be done to prevent this stuff from happening again, instead of just making it more likely? But then again there are profits to be made, so who knows what the right path to walk is?

(Header image source)