Last night I arrived home just in time to hear the news break that actor Patrick Swayze had died, and a few minutes later, when CNN’s signature evening news broadcast, Anderson Cooper 360, began, it was the top story. Of course it’s going to be of interest to many people, and of course Swayze had lots of fans who are going to be very sad.
But Anderson Cooper devoted 20 minutes — without a commercial break, if I recall correctly — to Swayze’s death. That’s a full third of his hour-long newscast… actually, more than a third, if a 60-minute show typically ends up with about 43 to 44 minutes of actual content after commercials.
With all the other really important stuff happening in the U.S. — from our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq that appear to have been forgotten, to the ongoing effort by the Obama administration to shove the crimes of the Bush White House under the rug, to the uproar over health care reform, to, I dunno, how about the years-long drought that is killing Texas…
Is the death of Patrick Swayze really the top news of the day?
If CNN can devote this much time to the death of a celebrity, why can’t it devote this much time to the events that really affect us?
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