“My mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers — so many caring people in this world.”
While Mr Rogers offered this advice for parents, those of us in the media should be more inclined to follow it as well.
I guess we have to blame the 24-hour news cycle that requires "exclusive content" or "breaking news" every 30-second out of fear that the viewer or listener is going to get bored and move on to another station or website--but we got way off-base with some of the stuff that received major coverage this week. We can start with First Lady Melania Trump's footwear on her visit to the disaster zone. Some poor fact-checker in a New York newsroom probably had to peruse countless on-line shoe catalogs to determine the exact height of the stiletto heels so the talking head going on about how "clueless the Trumps are" could sound "informed".
Then we got sidetracked by Joel Osteen and his church having to be publicly shamed into providing assistance to flood victims. Can you remember any stories about the pastors that were out there in the waist high water helping evacuees? I can tell you that every social media user wanted us to know that the mosques of Houston were open for evacuees seeking shelter.
And then there was the continuous selling of the "victimization angle". While it won't win an Edward R Murrow Award or a Peabody the CNN reporter getting cussed out on live TV by a harried evacuee for whom "how does it feel to be flooded out of your home" became the straw that broke the camel's back:
So if you can sift through the articles and reports on "Trump didn't even talk to or hug any of the victims" stuff--and look for the helpers--you will find the real stories in this disaster.