Not long ago, many in the mainstream media were bemoaning the deterioration of public discourse in this year's presidential campaign. Stories of lipsticks and pigs and other nongermane matters were irrelevant and time-wasters, they tut-tutted. Let's get back to the real issues.
So the September 29, 2008 Newsweek strikes a blow for substantive journalism and giving voters information they really need to know. "All the Candidates’ Cars" begins:
When you have seven homes, that's a lot of garages to fill. After the fuss over the number of residences owned by the two presidential nominees, NEWSWEEK looked into the candidates' cars. And based on public vehicle-registration records, here's the score. John and Cindy McCain: 13. Barack and Michelle Obama: one.
The article goes on to detail the vehicles, pointing out that some McCain cars were not - get out the smelling salts - made in America. If readers make it through this piece they'll learn in the last paragraph that of all the McCain rides, "Only the Cadillac is registered in the candidate's name."
They could have investigated more thoroughly. Somehow, I can't imagine Michelle Obama standing on a Chicago corner waiting for the bus. Then again, reporting that would have ruined an otherwise perfect story.
Stirring up a little class envy must be an example of the intrepid, hard-hitting journalism the mainstream media were demanding only days ago. Fortunately, they're going to "educate" voters on the critical issues that genuinely matter.
I'd rather read about Sarah's lipstick.