Thursday, August 25, 2005

Cindy Sheehan or Katrina?

Cindy Sheehan or Katrina (the Hurricane), which is bigger news?

I thought it was no contest. Hurricanes are always big news. First for reporters who flock to the strike zone to expand and enhance their reporting resume. Second for editors and producers who need good video, lots of action, and an opportunity for the news desk anchor to intone in ominous words about the serious nature of the threat.

Hurricanes are such good TV. But right there amidst the best of TV is the Sheehan story again. What is new? Nothing. What is moving on this “breaking story?” Nothing. All that has really changed is that Cindy has received a new script, and she’s got a plan for milking another three weeks of publicity and fund raising opportunities for the vultures who have seized this tragedy for their own political needs. Joe Wilson “defending” Cindy yesterday. Who could be next? Try Al Sharpton, who’s going to Camp Casey for an “ecumenical” program on Sunday.

And yet again, we see “political operatives” both Republican and Democrat featured in excruciating discussion about Cindy’s political impact. I think it is a bad sign when there are more “political operatives” being interviewed on news networks than actual newsmakers.

Note to news editors and producers: When Al Sharpton shows up at any event, including a hurricane, the event is no longer news worthy in any way.

It’s time to go to play by play of the color radar again.