Tuesday, August 12, 2003

The Dog Days of Summer-Interesting NYT piece (via Josh Claybourn) on news burnout; ratings are down from last summer for most TV outlets. Normally, summer is the down-time of TV news. Congress is typically not in session. The summer of an odd-numbered year lacks the primaries and run-up to the fall election to keep political junkies with oodles of elections to talk about. We're past Iraq from a strategic vantage-point (although a lot still remains to be done), so the geopolitics has settled into a steady-state for the moment, with no particular motion towards the next fault line (will North Korea be the next flash point? Iran? the Saudi entity?). The Invisible Primary seems to have settled into a light-news stretch; Dean has become a co-favorate with Gephardt and Lieberman making tactical moves to get back into the lead pack, but not much political news. The recall has given the political junkies a shot of good smack and a novel y'all come, non-partisan, first to the post wins, election to think about. To top it off, you've got the Last Action Hero running. That doesn't quite erase the burnout, but it lessens it. The Episcopal Church's problems are another good topic that has livened up the summer. Josh makes a good point when he says "No matter how unappealing the news may seem during a particular period, one can always learn from it and have fun. " I've been busy and sickly the last few weeks, and haven't had as many think pieces, but it isn't due to the lack of news, but my lack of energy.

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