Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Why Is This News? The Tuesday Edition

Oh, what must I wade through to check weather? This morning's non-event on "Today" and "Good Morning America" involved Travis, a trained chimp who had appeared in several commercials. For reasons known only to him and St. Francis, he attacked several people and was eventually shot by local police.

Tragic? Yes. Do people need to understand that primates do not make the best companion animals? Yes. Could one plead minor celebrity status? Yes.

But why is this story receiving more air play than the economic stimulus package and two of the Big Three laying out their plans before Congress for how federal loans will be used? What makes it override the real possibility that Illinois will have to go through another political battering thanks in part to its former governor?

Intellectually, I know why. There's nothing like sensationalism to stimulate ad revenue. There's nothing like morning network news shows for blurring the line between real news and non-news.

It will be interesting to see where Katie, Brian, and Charlie place the news about Madonna and her new boy toy, the 22 year old Brazilian model, tonight.

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