Saturday, August 09, 2008

In What World

is this not the headline story?
MOSCOW - Russia launched airstrikes yesterday deep inside Georgia and mobilized columns of tanks after Georgian forces embarked on a major offensive to reassert control over South Ossetia, a separatist province. Political leaders on both sides said that war had begun. The United States, an ally of Georgia, and other governments appealed for a cease-fire.
This threatens to be a full scale war. Russia's knocked out many of Georgia's tanks; Georgia's shot down several of Russia's planes. Thousands, it's likely, are already dead. Meanwhile, Georgia's pleading to the US to ship their 2,000ish troops out of Iraq to defend their homeland - from a war they kinda, sorta started. None of it is good, but all of it is important for people to read about.

Except, this is what's drowning the story out:
Former North Carolina senator John Edwards, a leading Democratic presidential candidate this year and in 2004 who became one of the party's most influential voices, acknowledged yesterday that he had an extramarital affair with a former campaign aide and had lied about it repeatedly.
Stop the presses!

I wish I could blame the Boston Globe on this, but it's a universal phenomenon across the media. Well, the American media. The international press seems to get it.

While a politician cheating on his or her spouse should, in reality, be a non story (so long as it wasn't illegal - a la Spitzer), at the very least the Edwards affair is the third story of the day, behind the newest war and the opening ceremony at the Olympics - one of the most ostentatious events ever (with a $300 million dollar price tag - ten times more expensive than the next most expensive opening ceremony). What is the American media's obsession with political affairs?


Quriltai said...

Because it's easy. Lots of people know who Edwards is, and North Carolina isn't hard to find. Plus, everyone kindly faxes press releases, saving much of the work of writing the story.

The Opening Ceremonies are a close second, because it's in a faraway place and you'd actually have to watch them to intelligently discuss it.

The Georgia story is's in a far away place, where they don't speak English, don't have nice hotels, and involve hard-to-pronounce goings-on. Not the media's kind of story.

Anonymous said...

How much media coverage did Chechnya merit? How important are wars for democracy and independence in trivial little countries that don't have large oil deposits or nuclear weapons anyway? Is it possible the Republicans have too much tarnish to cover up like those homophobic pretenders who are grabbing pages? Or the Family Values' candidates like Newt Gingrich and Rudy Guiliani? At least now they can point to the Dems and say 'see, see, they have illicit sex too!'

Anonymous said...

And when a former Democratic national candidate uses campaign finance money to commit a crime by paying hush money to his pregnant mistress, of course it's a story.

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