INDEPENDENT NEWS

Reporters stay home until un-newsworthy event ends

Published: Mon 3 Oct 2005 12:39 AM
Slow news day in nation's capital as massive protest shuts down city
Reporters told to stay home until un-newsworthy event ends
Satire from freepressed.com
Unlike the national media, White House snipers were hard at work, protecting the empty executive mansion from American peace marchers.
Washington, D.C.-- Mainstream media reporters found themselves with idle time on their hands Saturday during the largest anti-war demonstration in the capital since the war in Iraq began.
More than a hundred thousand protesters filled the Metro system, streets, and the National Mall in Washington, D.C., making it next to impossible for journalists to carry on business as usual.
One FOX News reporter said he was unable to make it to a brunch meeting with Sen. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) because of the large crowds. So he brainstormed alternate story ideas for the next day's news cycle.
"Unfortunately, there just wasn't that much going on--what with the streets flooded with Americans of all races, classes, religions, and ages trying to stop an illegal war based on lies."
Some enterprising journalists worked from home, emailing and calling members of Congress to get a read on how their constituents feel about a host of issues, including the war in Iraq, Katrina, the war on terrorism, and the overall direction of the country.
However, it was next to impossible for them to concentrate on their work with all the racket being caused by the throngs of people on the streets from every state in the union, yammering on about the war in Iraq, Katrina, the war on terrorism, and the wrong turn the country has taken in the last four years.
Others simply re-wrote press releases from the Bush administration and took a nap.
The National Press Building sat empty on Saturday. Reporters are expected to return when nothing is going on out front.
Washington Times political analyst Jennifer Short said she considered writing something about the protest going on "right under my nose," but reconsidered, noting that no one wants to read about a bunch of liberals against the war.
"What's newsworthy about that? So instead I wrote about a small group of Republican counter demonstrators. There were totally pro-Bush and pro-war. They were really interesting."
She coupled the story with a short piece about the President's strong religious faith.
There were news organizations that bucked the trend. The New York Times, Washington Post, and Associated Press all had stories about the march and rally. Live, all-day coverage of the event on C-Span was another exception.
Shaun Lieber of the The New York Times said the demonstration was "literally too big to ignore."
"And believe me, we tried."
Nevertheless, the coverage likely had little effect on President Bush, who admits he doesn't read or watch the news and was conveniently out of town for the event.
"If something important happens, my handlers will tell me about it several days later," he reasoned. "Ignorance is bliss. Kinda like being President."
ENDS

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