Breakfast Smoothie – Breast Cancer vs The Tornado

(If you have never read “Breakfast Smoothies” you might want to read the short introductory page. Explanations about the most blatant lies usually follow the essay.)

Night Blooming Cereus“Do you think that people value property more than human lives?” asked Ben.

Well, I think the media finds more interest in showing property damage then a dead body. Unless of course, the dead body is under a car.

“Am I late for my smoothie?” Erica was just walking into the back yard. “I hear I’m already late for my daily dose of opinion. What are you talking about?”

Ben replied, “Oh, we’re just ranting about how the media spends days covering this latest tornados: helicopter views of destruction, microphones in the face of sad people in the rubble of their homes.”

The president even rushes out for a sound bite standing in front of devastation.

“Well it is pretty traumatic and devastating to those involved,” Erica said.

Right, and I feel bad for those who have lost everything and worse for those who have died. But where are the cameras for the latest victim of breast cancer?

There’s no interest in a gaunt face in bed. And all of the victims are not huddled in a photogenic place. You know the saying, “If it bleeds, it leads.”

I set a smoothie in front of Erica; Ben already had his. This morning Alicia has made “If it bleeds it leads” smoothie. Blood red and ice cold.

“So what’s your point?” asked Ben.

Well, you realize that 40,000 women died last year of breast cancer.

“I see, and how many died of tornados?”

Last year was a bad year, over 500 people died. The average is below 100.

“And tornados get more coverage?” Ben said.


Of course, the media is usually there to cover smiling faces of breast cancer survivors: pink ribbons, and walking, and waving to the media. In fact there’s an entire month dedicated to that sort of thing. They do that so they don’t have to deal with the deaths.

“Some would say they’re putting a positive spin on it,” Ben suggested.

Some would say they’re afraid of covering the deaths.

“So you’re against tornado coverage?” Erica asked.

It just seems that we’re trying to hide cancer from ourselves.

And it’s not just tornadoes. On the day my wife’s obituary was in the local paper, the top half of the front page was devoted to a story about a drowning at the local beach. They had a photo of the beach with the waves in the background.

“And how many people a year die by drowning?” Ben asked.

A little over 3,000.

Two deaths on the same day. One makes front page news and the other doesn’t seem to matter. Doesn’t seem right, does it?

Drowning and tornados sell. Cancer death does not.

One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic. (Sometimes attributed to Joseph Stalin)

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