December 2, 2009

Stupid news

Yesterday, news of the planned SURGE in Afghanistan (the country which no empire, no matter how large, has been able to conquer. Ever.) wiped all the other terribly important news stories off the front page. This is justifiable.
What is not justifiable is what those "top stories" were prior to the president's announcement of the SURGE. The lead story was Tiger Wood's bizarre mid-night accident with a neighbor's mailbox. The second-most reported story was the fame-whore couple who crashed the White House state dinner.
Even now, with health care reform being debated, unemployment in double-digits, Iran becoming more beligerant, and 30,000 Americans heading into harm's way in a country with absolutely no strategic importance whatsoever, the top searches at Yahoo are
tiger woods
rupert murdoch
rachel uchitel
jaimee grubbs
world aids day
elin nordegren
michael jackson
dick cheney
charlize theron
(Who the hell is Jaimee Grubbs?)

The saddest thing about that list is that it perfectly embodies why the evening news leads with reality show wannabees. Because news is no longer a service. It's a business. And they are pandering to our lowest common denominator. In doing so, they are doing us all a disservice by lowering the common denominator.

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