Now that we’re smack-dab in the middle of the summer of 2009, we’re seeing the full media effect of the “silly season.” Newspapers are hashing and rehashing and re-rehashing the death of Michael Jackson, a figure most had forgotten, in no small part because it is a simple matter for a skeleton staff to dredge up pictures and old wire stories from the vault, plant a “Remember This?” preface on the front, and republish the old as new.
“News Analysis” on the future of Sarah Palin features prominently because she is more entertaining than a thousand LOLcats, but also because her behavior is so erratic as to make almost any prediction plausible. Will Palin run for President? Possibly. Will Palin stay home with her kids? Possibly. Will Palin become a radio host? Possibly. Will Palin join the speech circuit, or write a book, or sub for Jerry Springer, or go look at Russia, or join the circus? Possibly, possibly, possibly, possibly, possibly. Et voila: 8 stories for the paper, written from the beach!
While so many journalists are going on vacation (and more than a few are being sent on permanent vacation by budget-cutting publishers), the world keeps on turning and changes keep on happening. In politics particularly, the summer is one big, long Friday, a chance to enact dodgy policy or make embarrasing announcements when few reporters are asking questions and few Americans are paying attention.
In this time, it’s up to you and me to share what we know with one another. So tell me:
What’s going on right now that we need to know about? What important news is slipping by unnoticed?