Xiang Liujuan

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So earlier tonight, while working out at the gym, I was watching the news on my local Fox station. This wasn’t entirely by choice—personal geography be damned, I’d long ago given up on any local news station and the repeatedly inane stories about giant months and jugging squids and lottery winners. But, sadly, my 24 Hour Fitness only gets four or five channels. Your options are limited.

So I was watching. And suddenly the anchor spoke of an “escalator tragedy” in China. And suddenly the anchor spoke more of an “escalator tragedy” in Chicago. And more. And more. And then, without warning, the network showed us the security video from the “escalator tragedy” in China. Which involved a 30-year-old woman, Xiang Liujuan, being swallowed by a malfunctioning escalator, much like a fictional dragon might eat a dog. In the black-and-white video, Xiang Liujuan is exiting the escalator—and then she’s here, here, here … gone. It’s horrifying and gruesome. Fox News viewers were, quite literally, shown a person’s death.

For. No. Good. Reason.

None. Zero. You don’t know Xiang Liujuan. You don’t live in China. There is no outbreak of escalator malfunctions. It wasn’t caused by ISIS or Al Queda. There’s no trend, or warning, or lesson. Nope, this was a woman whose life ceases to exist, and the producers at Fox News thought it entertaining enough to display on air. Because, clearly, it would generate views. And more views. Thereby impacting potential ad revenue.

Now I’ll stop typing to vomit.