Sure He Might've Been the Greatest Surgeon Ever....But Look at This Other Guy's Great Hair! ..and Teeth!

Pioneering cardiac and vascular surgeon Michael E. DeBakey passed away last week. He was an absolute lion of surgical innovation. And it wasn't as though he didn't have a little prime-time lustre himself.

DeBakey, physician to such notables as the Duke of Windsor, the Shah of Iran, King Hussein of Jordan and Presidents Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon, had a long and distinguished career as a medical pioneer and a public policy statesman. This year he was awarded one of the nation's highest civic honors, the Congressional Gold Medal.

Still, the always insightful media-watcher (and Sb SuperReader) Anonymoustache noticed something a little bit odd:

There were two deaths that got some significant coverage in the news today.
-snip-
There was a trend to this coverage, of course. Virtually every news outlet gave big-time splashy front page status to one of these two people. The other received also-ran status from some outlets while he was completely omitted from the front pages of the rest.

What is wrong with this world? Guess who the also-ran was? Go read, but make sure you are in a place you can scream at the computer for a few minutes.

6 responses so far

  • Damien says:

    Well, in fairness, DeBakey may have been the greatest surgeon ever to walk the planet thus far, but I think a lot more people would be cheered up by some cosmic justice.
    And I personally will never forgive Dr. DeBakey for making Dick Cheney possible.

  • JSinger says:

    Bobby Murcer doesn't crack your top two? That was the big news around here, not some doctor/Astros fan or whoever the other guy was.

  • neurolover says:

    So, I think Snow got more press (though I'd want to see that analyzed statistically) because 1) he's one of their own, i.e. the press are going to cover the death of a press-guy 2) he died too soon.
    Don't you feel differently about the two? DeBakey died after a long and fruitful life (at almost 100). Tony Snow died in the middle of his life, leaving a young family. They feel different to me.

  • Neurolover,
    It is about accomplishment, not age. It is about what is newsworthy and what is tabloid.
    Besides, if they 'feel' different to you (and to the media, presumably, ergo their coverage), how about the media cover the deaths of the thousands of soldiers who have died in the lie-based Iraq war, or the hundreds of thousands of civilians who have died during that effort, with the same splashiness and consistence. Every one of those died prematurely too.
    You may not realize this, but a whole lot of people (many of them accomplished and promising) die prematurely each day leaving grieving families---young, middle-aged, old, and in many cases where the death of that member devastates the family. These families don't have FauxNoise and ex-WhiteHouse-lobby-connection fortunes to rely on for their continued welfare.

  • JSinger, yeah, Bobby Murcer only got a small blurb even in my sports page. I'd say that he died before his time as well (62) of a brain tumor. Growing up in a family of New York Mets fans, Murcer was the only Yankee to whom my Dad would defer some respect.

  • DM,
    Thank you. I knew of Tony Snow's death, but I really didn't take great notice of it. I was however, rather upset about the death of Michael E. DeBakey. Three years ago, I heard him talk at my university and I was really taken by the innovation this man had upon cardiovascular surgery. He was a maverick and one of my heroes. I still can't believe I was able to shake his hand.

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