Saturday, August 1, 2015

News Blues

                Cecil the lion has been shot! But you probably know that unless you’ve been in a coma the last few days, as it has literally been front page news every day since.
                In yet another example of our rapidly deteriorating ability to rationally prioritize, here are the three headlines/topics, top to bottom, deemed worthy of front page, center, coverage for the Friday, July 31, edition of the StarTribune. Top, above the fold, “U.S. to probe lion’s death.” (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials admitted that the lion is not protected under U.S. law, but said they share Zimbabwe’s interest in protecting threatened animals. Animal-rights imperialism is here!).
                Second, just below the fold, “AMID WALLEYE CRISIS, OLD ENMITIES.” (Walleye “crisis”? Yes, one popular central Minnesota lake’s walleye population is down. And yes, the headline was in all caps).
                And at bottom, “Vaccine for turkey flu could be announced within a week.” (The article went on to bemoan the fact that the flu has wiped out about 10% of Minnesota’s annual turkey production).
                It wasn’t until page three that the paper got around to printing the story of authorities possibly finding parts of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, and how the relatives of those 239 souls aboard the plane have been in an agonizing limbo, as the A.P. article accurately termed it, for the past 16 months since the plane went missing.
                The article headlined, “War’s youngest victims,” was on page three as well, below the one on Malaysian Flight 370, but this one only chronicled the 4 million refugees who’ve fled Syria’s brutal civil war. Oh yeah, and the 10,000 children who have died in the four-year old conflict.

I mean, hello, it’s not like a lion was shot or anything.

Addendum: as of Saturday evening, August 1st, there are ( amazingly poorly written, nearly incoherent) news reports online stating that “Jericho,” Cecil’s brother, has been poached as well. Or not, depending on which hysterical source one cares to believe, if any. If true, this could push the world over the edge.

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