The News?

Everyday I read the Huffington Post the way my Dad used to read the Free Press in Detroit. Today I read that some high school scholars took Bush to task for his stance on torture, that politicians take money from big tobacco (like this is news?) and that Murdock is close to firming up his deal to buy the Wall Street Journal, which is just one more reason to get the news on line. I read the business section to see who has been arrested recently and the living section to investigate new ways to relax, which in light of the current news is a hot topic.

But when I saw on the front page today a picture to click to read about Paris Hilton’s release from jail, I passed. Not because I wasn’t at all interested, the story is like a flat tire on the side of the road, you glace over just because it is there. I didn’t click on the story because I know somewhere, someone is counting. The people who choose the news are counting clicks and I don’t want to add to the pile. Particularly since I read yesterday the Michael Moore was booted from an interview on Larry King where he was to talk about the health care crisis so that Ms. Hilton can tell all about how hot her prison cell is.

Mostly I get my news from Democracy Now, Huffington Post, Think Progress, BBC, and Alternet. Once in a while MSNBC. And of course, The Daily Show. These are channels my Dad and Walter Cronkite never dreamed of.

And before marketing moguls started counting clicks, measuring the next newsflash against how much interest a related story received the last time. How else can one explain Anna Nicole outplaying troop casualties on the nightly news?

I know, I know. The topic about as welcome as a nasty doormat. But unless we keep hosing it down and occasionally beating the tar out of the doormat, we are just going to keep tracking dirt in.

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