There were only two stories of interest this past week--if you believed the news media.
by Walter Brasch
I don't have a column this week.
You see, I analyze and interpret the news, trying to find something that others haven't touched. When there's lots of news, I have a playground of riches. But during the past week, there were only two stories, and every reporter, columnist, commentator, pundit, bloviator, and blogger weighed in on it. There was nothing more I could add—from any perspective.
There was the Tiger Woods story. It led off the TV newscasts and took page 1 newsprint for a couple of days, and then became a featured story the rest of the week. One day, the breaking news about Tiger was that he wasn't wearing a seat belt.
But, there was also the story of the gate crashers at the White House state dinner. Everyone covered that story. When the pundits finished blaming the Secret Service, they started on the White House staff, somehow making it seem that President Obama himself was guilty of allowing homeland security to deteriorate. Congress, always eager to take the spotlight away from Hollywood celebrities, launched an investigation. Overlooked was that although the gate crashers did get into the State Dinner, they had gone through several security checks, and the only hazard to the President was that he would have to be in the same publicity shot as a bleached blonde.
Now, some may say that the addition of 30,000 troops in Afghanistan is news. They may even claim that a recent report that concluded the Bush-Cheney administration failed to provide requested ground troops to capture a boxed-up bin Laden at the end of 2001 is news. They may claim that neglecting Afghanistan while throwing 170,000 troops into Iraq forced President Obama to beef up the forces in Afghanistan to finish the mission that was supposed to have been finished years ago. But, that's not news. It's not even worth commenting upon, especially when all the media resources were devoted to the Tiger Slam and the Tareq and Michaele Salahi invasion.
And that leaves me nothing to say this week. Maybe next week there may be news that 10,000 reporters, columnists, commentators, pundits, bloviators, and bloggers won't give saturation coverage to. I sure hope so. I need the work.
[Walter M. Brasch, an award-winning former newspaper reporter and editor, is a syndicated social issues columnist, author, writer-producer, and professor of journalism at Bloomsburg University. His latest books are Sex and the Single Beer Can, a probing and humorous look at the nation's media; and Sinking the Ship of State: The Presidency of George W. Bush, with a focus upon the shredding of Constitutional protections. Both books are available at amazon.com, and other bookstores. You may contact Dr. Brasch through his website, www.walterbrasch.com.]