June 17, 2009

Man Kills Ordinary House Fly

Here's the stupid headline of the day:
Michelle Obama walks Bo the Dog on Sunday in madras shorts

Does this dangle? Is Bo the dog wearing madras shorts? And why is this a story?

Husband commented on this by quoting Groucho Marx: "Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."

I admit to being a critic of the media. My beef lately has been the choice of stories covered, like the First Lady walking her dog. Twenty-four-seven cable and the unending Internet has given me a lot to criticize.

Last night NBC Nightly News spent a good 2 minutes on what Brian Williams said was "something we've never seen before." And what was that story? Did the Cubs win the World Series? Was cancer cured? Were the weapons of mass destruction found?

No, the President of the United States swatted and killed an ordinary house fly. The camera then slowly panned to the carpet of the East Room where the dead fly lay.

This morning I wrote a long rant about the presence of that story in the middle of the newscast. I wondered why there was no more time devoted in the newscast to the growing violence in Iran or the several, scary situations in North Korea. Even the Palin-Letterman brouhaha or the former Miss California stories IMHO merit more news coverage than President Obama killing a fly.

Roll tape forward. I didn't publish that column today, but tonight I feel compelled to comment more from the molehill to the mountain department. Tonight's NBC Nightly News featured a good analysis of what is known about the Iranian situation, and I felt more informed. Then after the commercial break, more shots of POTUS and the fly. This time the narrator talked about PETA's statement today about the killing of the fly. Oh, brother.

The first lesson in any journalism class is how to identify a good story. Most junior high newspaper editors are familiar with who, what, when, where, why, and how.
In the context of everything else going on in the world, I do not think the President killing a fly and a group's reaction to it is worth two prime-time news slots. Quoth the raven.