“Loving Lick: Pit bull saves deaf boy from fire” is one of many stories out there about a dog saving a child and/or adult from demise. While that is admirable, when is it not admirable for an animal to find a way to save its owner from certain death regardless of their lack of knowledge of such situation? In this situation, it just so happens that the teenager is a boy and is unaware of such danger and was alerted by a dog.
While stories like this aren’t inspirational porn it still takes a person that is different and makes the difference a valid reason such a situation is inspiring or makes somebody a hero in the end.. There is an article, We Are Not Here For Your Inspiration, that defines inspirational porn “an image of a person with a disability, often a kid, doing something completely ordinary – like playing, or talking, or running, or drawing a picture, or hitting a tennis ball – carrying a caption like ‘your excuse is invalid’ or ‘before you quit, try.'”
Where’s the line between a newsworthy story and a story that becomes about the person’s difference? The attitude is that when somebody is different, they need to be “rescued” from whatever situation they are in. When they are saved, the person/animal that performed the rescue deed is a hero!
Suppose differences were taken out of the equation and the attention is shifted to women as the party needing rescuing, it is called White Knight Syndrome. This syndrome usually occurs when a male rushes to the aid of any female they see who appears as if they are distressed. The concept can be applied to those that are different. People find the need to applaud or even praise excessively when somebody has become the “rescuer” of somebody or something. Finding the need to attribute that type of attitude leads to the idea that people from this community can’t function or lead a normal life without having somebody there to save them every time they need saving. A perfect example of White Knight Syndrome most people can identify with is the Daily Planet from the Superman movies. What happens is every single time Superman comes out to do his heroic deeds, the chief editor of the Daily Planet will force every staff member to cover anything related to Superman.
It is a great concept when somebody’s life is saved from a fire because an animal has found a way to communicate or get that person out of trouble, but does it have to be “a deaf boy”? Perhaps this is not something that people should be overtly concerned about since it could happen to anybody.
It is all too common that media outlets like to focus on what is not part of everyday life events and publicize such events. It brings attention to those media outlets from new readers, because what happened during those events is a deviation from what would happen in a person that has no differing physical or personal characteristics from mainstream people. This is the media outlets’ ultimate goal, to reach every person possible, and publicizing such unique events is one method. Should media outlets refrain from focusing on people who are “different” or simply take a better approach when publicizing such events so as not to focus on the person’s difference but rather the circumstance?