Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sensationalism or Are we Just in Denial?

Charges have been made by Chief Ferguson and others that the response to the party in Roslyn by the national media has been sensationalized. Sending nine people to the hospital for alcohol poisoning even without the overlay of "rumors" that the drinks were spiked with date rape drugs is a very, very unusual incident and in all fairness, is deserving of considerable media attention. I could find no incident where so many people in such a high proportion of attendees were hospitalized when I did a google news search using the keywords of "hospitalization after party alcohol." I'm listing links to most of the incidents I did find from the last month or two.

Huge underage party of 500 people in Florida-four hospitalized, parents charged.

Adrian Michigan, teen found unconscious at party, hospitalized.

Vassar-September 18-19, five students needed medical attention (it does not appear these are all from the same party).

Fall from balcony 200 person frat party.

Teen Drunk Driving Crash that sent nine to the hospital.

Dartmouth-clearing the house before calling for aid for woman on couch.

If you read these posts you will note the nearly constant discussion of "social hosting laws" or charges for serving alcohol to minors. The question of how the underage partiers in Roslyn got their liquor or whether there should be liability for the hosts or others for providing the alcohol itself has been curiously not addressed here or in other local media. You can read an interesting article from Dallas on strategies focusing on curbing adult providers of liquor here. Given the two alcohol distribution related initiatives on this year's ballot in the upcoming election, you would think that someone, somewhere (should this have been you Daily Record in your articles on the alcohol related ballot initiatives-I think so)would also address the impact that costcoization of hard liquor might just have on underage drinking. With the exception of the teen drunk driving crash which really is an apples to oranges comparison, there really isn't anything quite like what occurred in Roslyn 9 days ago and it is a stretch to say that the national media has sensationalized the incident.