The media’s treatment of the recent tragedy of migrants drowning off the Italian island of Lampedusa was predictable. Whenever a local population—whether it be in Greece, Italy, or elsewhere—is inundated with a flood of refugees, a standard news template is applied.
The formula is to convert a broad social calamity into a heart-rending human-interest story that will provoke an emotional response trumping any sober analysis. The intended message is clear. Any number of refugees have an unreserved right to be accommodated by the host society, at whatever the cost.