But it also demonstrated how the media are driving us to distraction with silly sidebars, reducing entire presidential debates to Big Bird, bayonets and binders full of women. The economic costs and benefits of the minimum wage are complicated. A dip into Poland Spring is easy.
By late in the week, TV had decamped to other, more visual tales. CNN, with exclusive video, went wall-to-wall for a day with the disabled Carnival cruise ship limping to port, a legitimate story affecting more than 4,000 people but dismissed by some critics as overplayed. Then it was on to the meteor that hit Russia, blowing out windows and injuring more than 1,000 people in an unprovoked attack from outer space.
Will Cain, writer for TheBlaze.com, told me on CNN's "Reliable Sources" that the media have been "intellectually neutered" because "we don't hire people who are capable of looking deeper into the issues," preferring former political strategists and reporters. He was talking about television, and he has a point. But the problem goes beyond personnel decisions.
I get that presidential speeches aren't as compelling as a cabin turned into an inferno. But Obama talked about issues -- jobs, schools, guns, immigration -- that actually affect people's lives. Much of the mainstream media, unfortunately, seems to have lost interest in covering the meat and potatoes of government. And that makes me want to drink something stronger than water.
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