Sensationlism and misrepresentation at its worst

And the winner (or is it loser?) is…ContactMusic." Why is Contact Music reporting a story about sharks in the first place?" you might ask. Well, it’s Steven Spielberg related news, of course. He directed that shark movie back in ’75. What was it called again? Oh yes, “Jaws.” That’s the one. Hence, any story regarding great white sharks should automatically be associated with Spielberg (in the eyes of some media outlets, at least).

Real-life great white sharks, like this one and the ones recently spotted near Chatham, are often times confused with the large, fake, mechanical shark featured in the movie, Jaws, by some media outlets.
Real-life great white sharks, like this one and the ones recently spotted near Chatham, are often times confused with the large, fake, mechanical shark featured in the movie, Jaws, by some media outlets.

ContactMusic’s article, “Jaws sightings close Massachusetts Beaches,” is about as utterly ridiculous as they come. Just to clarify the headline, multiple sightings of great white sharks near the coastline are what prompted the closing of several Chatham beaches, not sightings of the movie Jaws. The article goes so far as to say that the recent white shark sightings near Chatham, Massachusetts are "terrifying residents of nearby Martha’s Vineyard" (where Jaws was filmed). Say what? Was there any reporting done to substantiate the terror has fallen upon the residents of Martha’s Vineyard? It seems that the good people of Martha’s Vineyard wouldn’t be too fazed by white shark sightings, considering that there have been white sharks reported around the Vineyard repeatedly in recent years. I guess the white sharks around Chatham are more fear-inducing than the ones that were in closer proximity to Martha’s Vineyard in the past.

Thanks for spreading unnecessary fear, ContactMusic. Now, back to reality.

One comment

  1. Brian Linton says:

    Very true. Jaws has created a generation of people who fear sharks and this doesn’t necessarily mean that we are all out killing sharks, but it does mean that we are less likely to protect them.

    Thanks for the great insights into the misrepresentation of sharks in the media.

    -Brian

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