Full Coverage

Anthrax and Afghanistan Dominate the News, but Are We Getting the Full Picture?

imagePAULINE UNG
Age 30
Resides Manhattan
Occupation Attorney

What do you think of the media's coverage of the crisis? I think it's all information overload, but it's also the same small bit of news being rebroadcast over and over again. I also believe that anthrax has been around a lot longer than they're admitting, and only because of the terrorist attacks are they coming forward with the cases. Basically, we're getting so little information because they're afraid of an uneducated public going crazy. During Y2K, people thought it was the end of the world and went out to the desert to build bunkers.

How much time do you spend keeping up with the news? I don't have cable, and so I only have channel 2. I watch it, but it's usually only on as background. I read the Times on the Web. It's cheaper and you don't get your fingers dirty.

What are you doing to escape? I go to the gym and work out. I spend time with friends and go to the movies. I saw Serendipity, a cute romantic comedy where you're rooting for the couple to get together and on the edge of your seat when it looks like there's a chance they won't.


imageKENNETH LESLIE
Age45
Resides Bronx
Occupation Theater operations

What do you think of the media's coverage of the crisis? The media is serving its own needs simply because this is a huge media event. I think we're getting a small amount of the information, some on anthrax and almost none on Afghanistan. I continue to think the anthrax is being sent by some white supremacist in Idaho, and that the West Nile spraying was some kind of bioterrorism test to see how resistant we are to chemicals. All news is propaganda. As they say, the first casualty of war is truth.

How much time do you spend keeping up with the news? I'm a news junkie. I try to get away from it but as soon as I start channel surfing, I always manage to make my way back to CNN. As though something important had happened in the three minutes I was watching something else.

What are you doing to escape? I've been to the movies to see Training Day. It was a very dark movie. In general, I'm living, going out to dinner with my wife, trying to be more conscious of nature, as corny as that might sound. I mean, I'm conscious of what's going on, but I don't think there's a jihad under my bed. I try not to scare my wife. She's from the Ukraine, and just got the Communists off her back.


imageSHALIMAR CELESTE
Age21
Resides Brooklyn
Occupation Photographer

What do you think of the media's coverage of the crisis? I don't have the slightest idea why we're not getting all the information, but I know we're probably not. Maybe they think telling us all they know would drive people crazy. Most Americans want to go shopping and drink coffee and sit on their sofas and watch Friends. They'd rather live in a state of total denial than know about this shit.

How much time do you spend keeping up with the news? I don't watch TV because I don't have one. The disadvantage is that someone calls me up and tells me about "the bomb found in the bus station in Philly," and I say, "Oh my God," because I haven't heard anything about it. I miss even the little bits of news that they agree to put on television. The message from the president is to shop, to go out and spend money and buy more things from Banana Republic that we don't need.

What are you doing to escape? Nothing. I'm really just continuing my life, a little pissed off and depressed.


imageBILL LANGE
Ageover 21
Resides Manhattan
Occupation Administrator

What do you think of the media's coverage of the crisis? I think we're getting enough news, at least within the parameters of what the government is letting the press report. I'm getting better at spotting the omissions. The anthrax crisis has really made it apparent that information is being left out.

How much time do you spend keeping up with the news? Probably too much. There's so much information and it's going by so fast. You have the anchors saying one thing and the tape running below them is passing on other information.

What are you doing to escape? Not much. It's pretty hard to escape. There's an information overload because it's coming in through television, newspapers, and the Internet. In terms of relaxation, I haven't been to the movies yet, and although I've been trying to read fiction, I can't get through it. I can't bear to pick up any of these books on bioterrorism or Osama bin Laden. Maybe I should start Harry Potter.


imageANTHONY KILBURN
Age40
Resides Manhattan
Occupation Clerk

What do you think of the media's coverage of the crisis? I actually think I'm getting too much information. I know we're not getting all the facts, but I've been watching television and reading about anthrax, and I can see why they're withholding information. I'm sure it's worse than they think it is, and that's particularly scary because I know they have no battle plan.

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