The Passing of the Slow News DayThere used to be such a thing as a slow news day. They were days when local news or man bites dog stories carried the day. They were days when minor bad news got some coverage - a government official helping a vendor for example.
But no more.
The past six years have wrought an ever-strengthening storm of big time stories that have all but eradicated slow news days. Each day brings some major new example of malfeasance, ineptitude, or graft. The stories burst forth like water from a leaking dam, threatening to overwhelm the 24-news cycle. Journalists rush to keep up with the floodwaters, but end up missing or short-shifting stories that would have been big news in another time. The same stupid behavior that keeps soldiers past their time in Iraq is the same stupid behavior that is wearing down and desensitizing the press corps.
Like a Burn Patient
It's wearing down and desensitizing the rest of us too.
No one is immune. Even hardcore news junkies read the paper or stare at the television in shell-shocked fatigue. Bloggers and political pundits can't decide on subjects because the target environment is so rich and they must write their posts and pieces quickly before the story moves on. The general public - never enamored of paying much attention to politics - is also overwhelmed. They are so battered by the relentless bad news and conflicting versions of events they've simply given up. The great middle of the political spectrum is no longer divided so much as bludgeoned into a unified, zombie-like state.
Of course, none of this is good for the country. America has become a burn patient - numb in all it's charred places - and way beyond the physical ability to feel pain. Also like a burn patient, we've realized we'll carry the scars of this awful time for the rest of our lives.
Throw in the Towel?
There's a great temptation to throw in the towel and not post about such things anymore. What used to be a pleasure to write about has become an interminable slog through the muck. I look at my posts and think they aren't nearly as good as they used to be. I read the fatigue in the words. They lack verve and have taken on a droning tone.
Bit I slog on because someone has to do it and that's a damn shame.
Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Wednesday, May 23, 2007