Chip Shots by Chip Griffin

Everything in Moderation, Including News

Perhaps moderation is on my mind because we just started a “Biggest Loser” contest in my office. Or maybe it is has something to do with hearing this weekend about a great quote attributed to Julia Child (“everything in moderation, including moderation”).

Moderation again came to mind this morning as I work from home before heading down to DC this evening. I have had CNN on in the background, as dull white noise – just as I have for most of the past 19 years of my professional life.

I have not kept track minute-by-minute so my impression could be wrong, but it feels as if the vast majority of coverage is currently about Haiti. Now that’s absolutely a big story that deserves significant coverage, but the wall-to-wall nature mirrors the ongoing habit of cable news. It seems that they blanket their airwaves with one story whenever possible – often manufacturing an important local news story into an all-consuming national event.

I suppose it is a commentary on the media business itself – consumers of information must clearly appreciate this approach since it is so often repeated. And the media entrepreneur in me appreciates that and stands by the business decisions made by broadcasters and publishers.

But the news consumer in me would like to see more balance, and not just in the periodic “top story” fly-bys. There’s plenty of interesting and useful news out there that would be great to have at least some national exposure so that it enters the national consciousness (at least among news junkies).

There’s no doubt that Haiti is an important global story and merits more attention than many other stories today. There are bigger – 9/11 comes to mind – but there are plenty of lesser stories that get similar treatment. Missing interns and students are tragic, but not necessarily worthy of 24/7 coverage.

So am I off base? Is there value in moderation? Or am I too much of a news junky to be a reasonable judge?

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