Disaster in Memphis ignored by media...

It’s a trap!

What’s going on here?!

Oooops…my OP got eaten!
Here’s a link: Why has national media ignored Memphis storm crisis?

I just wanted to keep the Memphis area dopers in our thoughts. As of yesterday, they still did not have power in their homes, and Memphis is damned hot in the summer.

Related threads:Why yes, I DO live in another dimension

Memphis: A Dress Rehearsal for the Apocalyspe.

Hang in there, folks.

Disaster in Memphis ignored by Straight Dope message boards…

Maybe its gods judgement on country music? :smiley:

“Lets get them meek bastards NOW!

I think it would make a very interesting study in media and public psychology as to why this Memphis story has been ignored both nationally and, to some extent, here on the boards. Obviously, stories were written about the storms, and so someone along the line decided they weren’t worthy of large-scale coverage. I don’t know why that is, especially on a seemingly universal scale, but it would be interesting to look into. After the city has recovered, of course.



Memphis is the birthplace of rock and roll, not country music. Fool.

Ummmm…try jazz. Country would be about 150 miles eastwardly.

You know, even here in Nashville, we haven’t heard much about the storms in Memphis. We had some bad storms here and some houses get torn up, but nothing as bad as it sounds over there. Memphis dopers are in my thoughts and prayers.

Of course, vibro, the “jazz” remark was not meant for you…

Cleveland is the birthplace of Rock and Roll, not Memphis. Fool.

The Tavern in Liverpool is the birthplace of Rock and Roll. Fool :smiley:

The Cavern in Liverpool is the birthplace of Rock and Roll. Fool.

Except it’s more likely to be Memphis, actually.


It was a bit before my time and I’ve never been there, so only one letter out isn’t too bad

The point of the OP, with which I can relate, is that Memphis experienced the kind of destruction equivalent to Hurricanes Fran, Hugo, or Floyd, but because it was a derecho storm and not a tropical cyclone, it got ignored by the media.

I can relate – having lived through one in the summer of 1994 that trashed much of Northern New York and Eastern Ontario, and I’ll venture to guess that this is the first any Dopers but myself, Elwood Cuse, and clayton_h have heard of it.

Tabithina? county? Is FEMA providing any help? What’s needed?

Memphis is specifically the birthplace of the Blues, beginning with W.C. Handy’s “Memphis Blues.” Cleveland is most certainly not the birthplace of rock and roll. Just because the Memphis City Council was incompetent enough to lose the Hall of Fame doesn’t mean anything. Friedman, the Cleveland DJ, popularized the term, which had been applied to a black musical form also called “jump blues”. But Memphis is where it was at. It’s the Holy City of rock and roll. If you’re every going anywhere or leaving anywhere in a rock song, it’s Memphis. I’ll see your Bill Haley and raise you Elvis Aaron Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis.

New Orleans, specifically Preservation Hall, is widely recognized as the birthplace of Jazz.

2 inches of snow fall in Washington, and it’s top of the broadcast news. A heat wave hits LA and it’s national news. A giant flying humpfalump poops 2 feet of snow and shards of glass over a giant swath of the upper midwest, and it makes page 344 F of USA Today.

And don’t forget that Memphis is home to FedEx - all express packages and envelopes go in and out of Memphis every day.

Shut that down, and you’ll have a wide-spread business disaster.

Poly, I’m in Missouri, not far from the towns of Pierce City and Stockton, which were leveled on May 4th (we weren’t harmed by the storms that day, but know many folks who were). The outpouring of love and support in our area was amazing, and I think it really sucks that hardly anyone knows what the people of Memphis have been going through for the last week. They should be getting support as well.:frowning:

I understand that the Red Cross disaster relief fund is at an all-time low–that’s probably where monetary help for Memphis should go, IFAIK. It was suggested by someone in vibrotronica’s thread that donations be sent to the Red Cross.


I was living in Columbia SC when Hugo roared through. I don’t think we had near the sort of damage then that Memphis has had just now. But like Poly says, we made the news because it was a hurricane and all, and not some funny kind of storm that didn’t fit into a nice news-category.

But still, when 300K households in a city lose power in a storm, and 80K of them still don’t have power a week later, you’d think someone would notice. If the Washington Post ombudsman (see my post in the ‘another dimension’ thread, above) calls me back, I’m gonna ask him when the Post has given equally short shrift to a disaster this big in Cleveland or Minneapolis or Albequerque or wherever. It’s as if Bush didn’t want Al-Qaeda to know that Memphis was vulnerable right now, or something, and had gotten the national media to put this under wraps.

Until I clicked on jackelope’s Pit thread yesterday afternoon, I was as ignorant about this as the rest of the world.

Yep, it’s Day Nine in the heat and dark for me. I actually look forward to going to work in the evenings; it’s nice and cool, and there’s a TV, and a Subway for sandwiches, and I can charge up my laptop. (Drat. I just realized I forgot to leave the flashlight by the front door when I left.)

I suspect several reasons for the absence of national coverage (and I work at the newspaper, by the way, so have seen a bit of how “news judgment” works):

  1. Low body count. The storm, astonishingly, killed only one person. I believe six more have died since, either in fires started by candles or when some genius decides to run a gas-powered generator *inside *his/her home. (Yes, that’s happened a few times.)

  2. No convenient handle. The phrase “100-MPH STRAIGHT-LINE WINDS” doesn’t sound nearly as sexy as “HURRICANE” or “TORNADO,” plus it’s difficult to fit into a catchy headline.

  3. This is boring. Really, the storm itself was exciting (or so I hear–I, uh, slept through it), but since then it’s not very exciting to watch. Like drought, it’s a story of nothing happening. Every day we get the reports of how many people’s power is still out (72,000 as of this morning), and occasionally we see the MLGW trucks driving around or some footage of removing a 100-foot tree from someone’s living room. But in general, the suffering here isn’t photogenic; it’s just really, really dull.

And finally:

  1. **Memphis just barely exists in the public consciousness. I have noticed this phenomenon over and over in the six years I’ve lived here. How many of you know approximately where in the state of Tennessee Memphis is? I certainly didn’t before I had a reason to look it up, i.e., I was moving here. This is a city of about 1.5 million people, and over and over I’ve watched events here ignored by the national media. Nothing this big, certainly, and I’m pretty surprised about this, but really, this city just flies below the radar for some reason. People know Elvis, maybe FedEx, and maybe MLK’s assassination, and that’s about it. Oh, and sports fans know our NBA team, the Grizzlies.