In Southern California right now, there’s a woman driving “erratically” in what looks to be a Honda Element…in reaction to which development, cable news seems to be, unsurprisingly, in its own element. Tune in to Fox and MSNBC (though not, as far as I’ve seen, CNN) for coverage of what MSNBC has deemed—after some air-filling speculation as to the actual speed of the car being pursued—a “moderate-speed car chase.” Which includes: discussion of the fact that the driver is female, a cultural history of evasive car maneuvers, and incredibly well-informed speculation as to how the chase will end.
Oh! And, on Fox, a phone interview with…Low-Speed Chase Expert Mark Fuhrman.
Update, 9:49am: Fuhrman, discussing the driver’s gender on Fox, just explained to Megyn Kelly that women often resemble teenagers in their driving in these situations. Because, you know, they tend to get overwhelmed and therefore extra-erratic.
Update II, 9:52am: It’s over! Police cars have cornered the driver at an intersection near Rancho Santa Margarita. A Fox commentator sums up the scene, wittily: “Life in the fast lane in Southern California has now come to a slow, and grinding, halt.” A few moments later—after Megyn Kelly has praised the California Highway Patrol for “keeping the public safe” during the chase—he brings it all to a close: “On a Good Friday, it ended for them…quite well.”Megan Garber is an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. She was formerly a CJR staff writer.