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Nashville flood: The South's self-help disaster

While the Nashville, Tennessee, flood will bring federal aid, some complain the area became the nation's hidden disaster. But many Tennesseans are happy to clean up the mess on their own.

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Dearth of media exposure?

Yet many saw a troubling paradox in what was perceived as a dearth of media exposure.

"It was mind-boggling to flip by CNN, MSNBC, and FOX on Sunday afternoon and see not one station even occasionally bringing their viewers footage of the flood, news of our people dying," writes Betsy Phillips of the Nashville Scene.

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The gradual move by mainstream media toward opinion over hard news as budgets and circulation shrink could certainly have played a role in how the Nashville flood was perceived and covered.

"Everyone is talking about BP and Faisal Shahzad 24/7, the 'thinking' goes," writes Andrew Romano in Newsweek. "So there must not be anything else that's as important to talk about. It's a horrible feedback loop."

A Newsbusters commenter had a more sanguine view, reflecting on other disasters like the Iowa floods that received less-than-blitzkrieg coverage.

"The only thing that I can figure is that maybe Nashville is doing its best to handle the problem in any way they can, and they aren't whining and crying and blaming somebody or something for what is obviously a natural disaster," the commenter writes. "And also, maybe there's not much 'news' in this for the MSM, since there doesn't appear to be an agenda that they can push.”


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