Amazing What Constitutes Journalism, These Days...
This is a little blurb to warn you of the panty-bunching psychosis of the bunch over at NewsBusters.org (hyperlink not given, ON PURPOSE).
Not long ago, I was involved in a discussion with one of NewsBuster's regular contributors (regular only in the sense that he posts often. I'm not sure there's anything "regular" about him after that, and no, that is NOT a reference to his sexual orientation). The subject had to do with an offhand remark made by one Meredith Viera (of "Who Wants To be A Millionaire" fame), now a regular on the Today Show (taking Katie Couric's place).
The remark was in reference to a symptom of menopause, i.e. the hot flash. Meredith made this remark, I gather, in the context of making a joke about the guest (a Medical doctor suffering from said hot flashes) who came on to talk about this serious health risk (snicker, snicker), and the grave, deadly threat (I guess) it serves to 'Merican womanhood.
Now, ordinarily, I should think that something like this would escape most people's attention. Evidentally, it did not escape the attention of the nitpickers at NewsBusters.
The remark was made into a conservative websphere cause celebre! Meredith DARED to mention hot flashes on TV? Isn't is just ABSOLUTELY EVIL? Is there no decency anymore? Why hasn't the Lord struck her down for her sin? Oh wail and woe! The end times are nigh!
Well, guess what? They ain't. And while NewBusters continued to hammer away at this tale of depravity for all it was worth, when it was suggested that perhaps, the reporter in question had just a little too much free time on his hands and a very small mind, I was savaged. Well, perhaps savaged is a bit hyperbolic; I was instead reminded that decency was at stake and that without NewsBusters to tell the American people about the hot flash embroglio, the "Mainstream Media" would have ignored it, we'd all be pig-ignorant, and the Earth might spin off it's axis.
God forbid the children heard "hot flashes" and perhaps asked Mother and Father to explain it all (when Pastor Bill might not be conveniently available to offer the right sort of counselling to the family)! Or worse, the public schools might take it upon themselves to explain hot flashes and menopause in the classroom! Imagine that; discuss menopause, but not Jesus! After all, it's all about "the children" isn't it?
Even making mountains out of molehills, evidentally, is all about the children...
What makes this especially delicious is that not a week later, Sean Hannity and others of his ilk were beating the drums loudly over a soon-to-be-released film in which 12-year old actress Dakota Fanning takes part in a simulated rape scene (on record; 12 year girls should have nothing to do with rape, simulated or not) .I'm not sure if NewsBustwers covered that with the same hyperbole (they probably did, I couldn't be bothered to check), but I'm dead certain that NewsBusters didn't go back and review the "hot flash" post and say to themselves "perhaps we've overreacted a bit in light of this new development..."
Of course, they wouldn't. If they didn't make minor incidents into stories, theyd have nothing to post over there on NewsBusters, I'm sure.
One of the disadvantages of the internet, alas, is that anyone capable of typing and holding an opinion at the same time is capable of bringing every petty subject into the light of day, regardless of how ridiculous the issue... or the reporter.