Press coverage of the war, our financial and healthcare crisis, the swine flu, the police massacre in Seattle, our eroding education system, global warming, various slaughters of African women and children, the strange case of the disappearing bee population, Sarah Palin’s book signing schedule, and other really serious stuff was bumped off the front pages of the news today so we could all stay up-to-date on two really important developments –
1. Party crashers at The White House.
2. Tiger Woods’ argument with his wife.
Ah, the continuing decline of public intelligence. It’s as if the America is at the tail end of their own “Flowers For Algernon” adventure, collectively playing the Cliff Robertson role. Our brain power peaked a few years ago, and now for some reason we are degenerating into a deep state of societal mental retardation. Too much mercury in our diets? Fox news? Who knows, but our attention spans are measured in milliseconds, and we have a perverse fascination with tearing down good people, while building up bad.
Case in point… I don’t know Tiger Woods personally, but he seems like a pretty incredible guy. Dedicated, motivated, and he can really hit a golf ball. I don’t really care if he had a fight with his wife. Everyone that is married fights with their spouse at some point. It’s none of my business. I’ve had fights with my wife, and although she has never come at me with a golf club (luckily my chosen sport is fly fishing, and it’s hard to hurt a guy by hitting him with a fly rod), I am sure some or our arguments would be interesting if for some reason they were covered by the news media. Tiger‘s real problem is that he has always been too good to be true. Too handsome. Too talented. Too buffed. So naturally any chink in his armor should be relentlessly covered by the press so he can be destroyed. This morning I heard one commentator on The Golf Channel (don’t ask why I was watching The Golf Channel) gleefully exclaim “This is going to put our network on the map in the same way the Iran hostage drama put ABC Nightline on the map.”
Really? Domestic trouble with the Woods family is a lot like an international hostage drama that threatened world security and influenced Middle East policy for three decades? The Golf Channel might somehow morph into our most trusted source of news? Well, perhaps.
And at the same time Tiger had to share the spotlight with two new visitors from the planet Bizzaro, Michaele and Tareq Salahi. (Seriously, those are common names on Bizzaro. Like Chen in China.) The Salahi family allegedly appeared at The White House uninvited, which for some reason has become a national scandal that now requires massive investigation.
Matt Lauer was thrilled to have the couple on The Today Show for an exclusive interview this morning. “So, you say you were invited to The White House”, Matt masterfully probed, “but I have to ask, who invited you?’
The Salahi’s looked shocked at the question, as if Matt had asked them to briefly describe nuclear fusion or the mysterious appeal of Paul Blart Mall Cop. They said they could not answer, but “soon the truth would come out”, as if there is some secret “Deep Throat” in the government who will blow the lid on the Obama staffer who is secretly inviting Euro-Trash to The White House.
The truth, according to The New York Times, is that the Salahi’s are actually candidates to be on the reality show “The Real Housewives of DC”. Now that they were the primary guests on The Today Show and featured worldwide on various news outlets I suspect they will move up a few rungs among the contestants.
A few weeks ago another reality show contestant determined to get attention released a balloon into the air and caused massive panic and a huge waste of resources by claiming his young son was inside. Could it be that reality shows are actually evil? Perhaps human beings can’t resist the lure of fame, and will endure any degradation to achieve it while sucking the news media into their trailer trash world of fame. Seems like we should celebrate talented people and let them live their private lives privately, and ignore crazy people that sink to any low for attention.