A possible debt ceiling crisis? Mass murder in Norway? Important stories, but today on the 6:00 pm segment of CNN Newsroom, they took a backseat to another story. Showing video of a homosexual wedding, the program began:
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: Oh, boy, it's a historic day in New York. Same-sex marriages begin. And this hour live coverage as Mayor Michael Bloomberg officiates a wedding between two of his staff members.
Lemon devoted most of the hour-long program to stories of men marrying men and women marrying women. Less than ten minutes were spent on a potential debt ceiling deal in Washington. The Norwegian tragedy warranted about four minutes of air time. There were approximately two minutes devoted to weather, and about two more to covering four other stories, including the death of singer Amy Winehouse. The National Football League lockout and Tiger Woods firing his caddie each merited two minutes of air time.
The rest of the hour was all gay marriage. In the interest of balance, Lemon reported on a demonstration protesting same-sex marriage. That took less than a minute.
He asked a homosexual couple how long they'd been together. He asked a lesbian couple how long they'd been together. He aired footage of several different ceremonies, and devoted much of the last 20 minutes to the Gracie Mansion event at which Bloomberg married two of his aides:
LEMON: It's a fine and fancy day in the city of New York and right here on CNN. I feel like I should be wearing my seersucker suit and drinking mint juleps.
You're watching a milestone in gay rights. Today, New York became the sixth and largest state to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
And -- there we go. Come on. We're got to see the ceremony. Come on, guys, get it together.
So fascinating was this marriage that Lemon and CNN carried it several minutes into the next hour. Finally, it was a wrap:
LEMON: We wish we could take all of you inside for a drink, inside the tent, wouldn't that be nice? But that's Michael Bloomberg. And now officially married in New York City, John Fineblatt and Jonathan Bradley Mintz, two long-time aides of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and guess what? It was a beautiful ceremony. You got to love a wedding if it's -- whether it's an opposite, couples of opposite -- opposite sex or same sex. Weddings are always beautiful and it's nice.
Maybe, but they're generally not so newsworthy as to crowd out stories of considerably more importance. Unless, apparently, they so excite the anchor that he wishes he were wearing his seersucker suit and drinking mint juleps. Oh, boy.