This happens every year: A person, enjoying the river, slips... and they're gone. Local media reports the story. There will be the obligatory "candid" photos of the anxious/grieving family (which I find off-putting) and some snaps of the boats involved in the rescue/recovery efforts. Nothing graphic is shown.

It happened near Hampton again a week ago. The Mississippi is unforgiving. The story was covered just as I've described.

Around the same time, in Texas, a young Central American migrant and his small child attempted to sneak into the United States. They didn't make it. They were found drowned. Photos of their lifeless bodies, floating face-down in the shallows of the Rio Grande were paraded all over the mainstream media; print, air and on-line.

Why the difference in coverage?

Local television, and newspapers like the Quad-City Times, balance the public's right-to-know with a concern for the victim's right-to-privacy and simple, common decency. They report "news" from that perspective.

The national media operates under a different set of priorities. It's my perception the "mainstream" news is driven by a hate-based opposition to anything Trump-related. Neither traditional codes-of-conduct nor bounds-of-decency are factored into "reporting." Obsession with hastening the president's removal and/or facilitating his defeat in 2020 influences every word.

I'm just a regular guy who sees obvious bias and understands why it exists. The press still believes they have the ability to shape public opinion through distorted "reporting." I say they no longer have that power.

We're soon going to see who's right.

Eugene Mattecheck Jr.


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