My response...

TO: Harper's Weekly

FROM: Shannon O'Donnell

To Dylan Trotter:

I have two quick points to make in response to your

One, please do not think me so self-centered as to only be concerned by my "empty gas tank". That is certainly not the purpose of bringing Wilma to attention, and was a mere subpoint in a list of many. My point (I'll assert it again-- maybe more clearly this time?) was/is that many people lost their livelihoods and some their lives. There are billions of dollars of damage, and the taxpayers of the United States will end up having to pay for the repairs. Those facts are not trivial. I work for a company based out of another state and not one employee (that I have since spoken to) at our headquarters realized that anything even became of "that storm". Speaking to others from out of state, I have found that that is the consistent sentiment of many.

Two, rather than direct your annoyance and sarcasm at me, I think that your feelings are better served directed towards organizations like Harper's. We're fighting the same battle here, and you're being a bit hypocritical. You bring up the terrible devastation and loss of life in Pakistan and the lack of international (not only American) attention to the subject. There is something massively wrong with that. There is something wrong with news organizations deeming one disaster more newsworthy than another because of proximity to greater devastation or the unpopularity of the victims' ethnicity. When people lose their lives it's a tragedy, whether is 47 or 100,000. But you yourself have bought into the thought that life lost in great mass is newsworthy and reporting on life lost on a smaller scale is "beating a dead horse" and "telling you something you already know". I believe that Hurricane Wilma's effects should get the attention they deserve and so should the Palestinian Earthquake. The Earthquake is a much larger crisis and therefore should receive more attention, but that certainly should not mean that Wilma should not receive any or less than what is appropriate.

I would hope that you would not be thanking Harper's but questioning where their and many other news organizations' coverage is.


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