God May Speak to Hizzonner but the News Gods are Dissing Him Big Time

In real estate it’s all about location, location, location.  In the news business it’s all about…..timing.  When Hurricane Elvis hit and crippled the city of Memphis in the summer of 2003, most of the outside world didn’t know about the storm damage because there was a HUGE power outage that crippled the northeast that same day.  All attention was focused on that.  Memphis wasn’t even a blip on the news radar despite hurricane force winds that left some folks without power for three weeks.

When our long-time mayor of Memphis announced his planned resignation, he was upstaged by the death of pop superstar Michael Jackson.  Heck, do most folks even remember that Farrah Fawcett died that same day?  Probably not.

Then, on the day that hizzoner moved out of the city’s highest office and was pretty much guaranteed to fill the first 10-minutes of each newscast on the local affiliates, tornado warnings are issued for the Memphis area with actual storm damage reported.  Once again, local news operations were scrambling as the carefully crafted news run-downs were scrapped and it was time for a weathergasm extraordinaire.  Heck, in Memphis, a mayor announced he’s stepping down all the time (and sometimes does it).  But a twister that actually causes some local damage, heck that’s a gift from the news gods.  Afterall, how many of us have actually seen news managers pacing in a newsroom almost praying for a twister to cause some damage in  their viewing area.  I know I have.   The bottom line: the outgoing mayor got upstaged by a force of nature.  Someone might wonder if God spoke to him about this.  I, on the other hand, would never harbor such a thought.

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6 Comments on “God May Speak to Hizzonner but the News Gods are Dissing Him Big Time”

  1. Jamey Says:

    there’s no love for the tv stations either. One of the biggest news days of the year and it falls just 24 hours after the July book ended.

  2. JD Says:

    Hi Joe!
    Let us not forget the 7 straight days of coverage on the shooting of Antonio Burks in the derriere while witnessing(participating) an illegal dice game down on LeClede!
    Coach Calipari, bawling and squalling relatives, the family dog, the dice manufacturor, the neighborhood scribe, the bed pan changer. All of these have constantly been thrust out there.

    Sure, it is terrible the guy was shot and almost died and I am saddened and troubled by it, but sheesh! 7 days of Herenton/Burks–Burks/Herenton?!

    That storm came at maybe a most opportune moment!

  3. Doug Johnson Says:

    A force of nature trumped by a bigger force of nature. And today, the sun is shining and everything has calmed down (for a few days at least).

  4. Joe Says:

    The northeast blackout of 2003 occurred on August 14, not July 22, the same day as Hurricane Elvis. However,the killing of Saddam Hussein’s sons, Uday & Qusay, was the big national story that day.

  5. joelarkins Says:

    I stand corrected. I guess I didn’t know the big national story afterall as I was immersed in what was happening locally. That’s what happens when an old fart draws from memory.

  6. Richard Says:

    Let’s not forget that about the time MS Fawcett passed, so did an icon of commercials…Billy Mays!

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