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It Was A Struggle, But Not “Life and Death”

It Was A Struggle, But Not “Life and Death”

Recently, our dog Coco crashed through the ice on our pond while chasing ducks, and I tried to wade in after her, through the ice. My Shepherd, Bentley, then jumped in to try to save me! My wife called the fire department, and a combination of wonderful firefighters and police got us all safely to shore. The pond is about two acres, and five feet deep.The entire episode was about 20 minutes in duration. I was in the water for about seven minutes. We profoundly thanked everyone, and I treated the police and firefighters to donuts the next morning.

For some reason, the local ABC affiliate thought this was vitally important for the public to know (a slow news day, I guess) and sent a reporter with a camera. She did a very nice job with an interview and follow up. But when it aired at 11 that night, the somber anchor (newsreader) proclaimed, “A life and death struggle in East Greenwich.” This is how the media can create false drama.

I remember the late mayor or Providence, Buddy Cianci, whom the Providence Journal despised, displaying that antipathy in every article and editorial. “If I walked across the surface of the Providence River tomorrow,” said Buddy, “the Journal headline would be, “Mayor Doesn’t Know How to Swim.'”

Written by

Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

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