Sunday, July 18, 2010

News priorities

This past Friday, I was listening to the network news on my local CBS radio affiliate. I knew that BP was about to try its latest and greatest scheme to cap the uncontrolled oil gusher (let's stop calling it a "spill," okay?) in the Gulf of Mexico. I fully expected that story to lead all others, unless some other catastrophe had occurred.

The first story was about Apple's announcement that all iPhone 4 customers would receive a free case to ameliorate the infamous antenna interference problem.

Huh?

Let's see: on the one hand, you have one of the greatest environmental disasters in U.S. history, adversely affecting the lives and livelihoods of hundreds of thousands if not millions of people. On the other hand, you have a corporate press conference to address a non-life threatening fault in one of the company's products, a product that can reasonably be called a luxury item.

Hey, CBS Radio news execs, here's a bulletin for you: you run a reputable news organization. At least, that's what you're supposed to be doing. Yet you essentially packaged Apple's press conference into an audio press release for the company and made it your lead story.

How the hell was the announcement of a free case so thunderously important that it trumped the latest attempt to staunch the obscene outpouring of oil into the Gulf?

What the hell happened here? Were the adults out to lunch?

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