December 08, 2009

The No-News No-Column Column

... by Walter Brasch

I don't have a column this week.

You see, I analyze and interpret the news, trying to find something that others haven't touched. When there's lots of news, I have a playground of riches. But during the past week, there were only two stories, and every reporter, columnist, commentator, pundit, bloviator, and blogger weighed in on it. There was nothing more I could add—from any perspective.

There was the Tiger Woods story. It led off the TV newscasts and took page 1 newsprint for a couple of days, and then became a featured story the rest of the week. One day, the breaking news about Tiger was that he wasn't wearing a seat belt.

But, there was also the story of the gate crashers at the White House state dinner. Everyone covered that story. When the pundits finished blaming the Secret Service, they started on the White House staff, somehow making it seem that President Obama himself was guilty of allowing homeland security to deteriorate. Congress, always eager to take the spotlight away from Hollywood celebrities, launched an investigation. Overlooked was that although the gate crashers did get into the State Dinner, they had gone through several security checks, and the only hazard to the President was that he would have to be in the same publicity shot as a bleached blonde.

Now, some may say that the addition of 30,000 troops in Afghanistan is news. They may even claim that a recent report that concluded the Bush-Cheney administration failed to provide requested ground troops to capture a boxed-up bin Laden at the end of 2001 is news. They may claim that neglecting Afghanistan while throwing 170,000 troops into Iraq forced President Obama to beef up the forces in Afghanistan to finish the mission that was supposed to have been finished years ago. But, that's not news. It's not even worth commenting upon, especially when all the media resources were devoted to the Tiger Slam and the Tareq and Michaele Salahi invasion.

And that leaves me nothing to say this week. Maybe next week there may be news that 10,000 reporters, columnists, commentators, pundits, bloviators, and bloggers won't give saturation coverage to. I sure hope so. I need the work.

[Walter M. Brasch, an award-winning former newspaper reporter and editor, is a syndicated social issues columnist, author, writer-producer, and professor of journalism at Bloomsburg University. His latest books are Sex and the Single Beer Can, a probing and humorous look at the nation's media; and Sinking the Ship of State: The Presidency of George W. Bush, with a focus upon the shredding of Constitutional protections. Both books are available at, and other bookstores. You may contact Dr. Brasch through his website,]

Posted by Walter Brasch at December 8, 2009 10:52 PM | Guest Writings | Technorati links |


Hey sometimes no news means no bad news...

Posted by: Todd at December 9, 2009 03:54 AM

Some, including me, would say that the updates on Afghanistan and the new information about bin Laden's escape are news. Guess I'm just hopelessly old fashioned. But I was happy to read your article and realize that somebody else notices these things too, and the continued idiofication of the news.

Posted by: Flo at December 9, 2009 03:43 PM

It's not always the best practice to just post a story to fill a spot that is irrelevant.

Posted by: Tires at December 10, 2009 08:01 AM

I'm waiting for the Woods and gate crashers to make it a foursome. What do you think?

Satire can be so much fun to read sometimes, particularly when there's a comments section.

Posted by: Cujo359 at December 10, 2009 05:32 PM

The news medias infatuation with Tiger Woods has far surpassed the outrageous level. It's a sad day when war takes a backseat to gossip.

Posted by: John at December 11, 2009 06:56 AM

I can't believe how the media have pounced on Tiger (pardon the pun). It is both vicious and out of place.

Posted by: Michael at December 11, 2009 10:22 AM

At least I am not the only one that thinks the tiger woods story has been done from every possible angle. time to let it drop I think!

Posted by: Nick Tea at December 13, 2009 02:58 AM