Car Chases

Is it news? That’s a tougher question.

“I don’t do crack, but I think this is probably what it’s like.”

The quote is from Helaine. She said it as I was scrambling to leave the house and drive to work. She was referring to today’s Dallas, TX police chase.

“There should be a channel with only this,” she added.

They are addictive even though they’re entirely predictable. Attention miscreants: If you hear a copter overhead, pull over. You’re done.

I knew what Helaine was talking about because the chase was on the TV in the bedroom as I got dressed. MSNBC’s anchors were quizzing a Texas police dispatcher. They seemed more interested than he was.

dallas-chase-crash.jpgIt was a “routine traffic stop,” the dispatcher said. In some quarters those words are considered cover for police as they hassle minorities. In any event the driver took off and led police across the Dallas area for a few hours before running through an intersection and getting slammed by a pickup truck.

Don’t hold your breath waiting for a follow-up. When the perp was caught the story ended.

Why is this stuff covered? People watch–that’s the easy answer.

Is it news? That’s a tougher question. MSNBC and others were following it without knowing any off the underlying factors. They were not following a crime or criminal as much as they were following a chase.

In the past I’ve referred to this as soft core porn for newsrooms. My opinion hasn’t changed.

3 thoughts on “Car Chases”

  1. usually I change the channel when this junk is on, but just as I went to grab the remote, the car got T-Boned by a pickup truck.

    I watched a few minutes, and the police just stood around the car, not doing much…Don’t know if that person survived, I didn’t watch long enough to find out. Then I thought, “this is the pay-off for the people who sat and watched for however long it was on TV”.

  2. “Car Chase of the day” gets ridiculous amounts of coverale on Los Angeles area stations, complete with running commentary, expert talking heads, and multiple layers of TV helicopters in hot pursuit.

    You’d have to be totally nuts to run form the cops around the Sothern California area–if the cops don’t have you in sight with their chopper, every station in town is on you…

    Yeah, its News soft pron, but it gets ratings…I guess.

  3. It’s funny, just yesterday I was talking to a friend who just got back from a week’s vacation in L.A./Hollywood. She said she was disappointed there weren’t any car chases while she was out there.

    (I had no idea this one had happened until this posting — guess I’m out of the loop!)

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