Weiners in the news
When you watch the network nightly news on TV, if you are a watch-the-network-news sort, you probably want to congratulate yourself on your effort to be well-informed yet normal. Once in a while, I too worry about being well-informed yet normal, so I watched the NBC nightly news this evening where I found out the most important news of the day was Anthony Weiner's press conference contriteness at having 'sexted' some women via Twitter and Facebook.The second item Brian Williams discussed was about how some Sarah Palin supporters editing the Wikipedia biography of Paul Revere to make it seem to conform with Mrs Palin's comments regarding his famous ride, which seems both pathetic and creepy.
But Yemen's Saleh skipping the country and Israel attacking Palistineans at the Syrian border were apparently not so important. Now I realize that Weiner's virtual hanky panky makes for "sexier" and more readily digested news(especially with that name!), and since it's a story about a congressman and not the never-ending Casey Anthony trial, I suppose the typical network nightly news viewer might be forgiven (a bit) if he thinks he did his part to try and get better informed.
Even among Americans who might get their news from the internet, I'm guessing most who might go to CNN.com or Yahoo News aren't aware of, for example, Asia Times Online or the Guardian(of course The Guardian also has some problems as far as perspective goes ).
Still, I have to believe most educated and semi-educated people here must realize how awful most mass media journalism is, and have at least an inkling they can try to use that internet thingie to access broader and more sober perspectives(at least for now). So it's "on them", as the saying goes.
As far as the notion that the big media powers that be are just giving people what they want, I wonder if that's entirely true. For example I seem to remember that at the height of protests in Egypt the networks said their viewership rose a bit, so maybe there's more to it than that. In the case of the protests in Syria, for example, we have another country that borders Israel, and if you believe that most US news coverage from the Middle East is calculated in terms of whether it may have an impact on Israel, then the protests in Syria certainly fit the bill, but the networks seem less interested. I suspect this is less about whether Syria's government's fate would affect Israel, but simply because there was already a Western news bureau presence in Cairo, but very little in the way of a Western journalistic presence in Syria. In the case of Saleh of Yemen I guess the "Arab Spring" is so February 2011, and the Western news people have moved on. Maybe they're weiners too.