Here we go (yet) again, going completely gaga over a baby’s gagas.
Unless you’ve been held in a Mexican prison or so preoccupied trying to figure out how to fold a fitted sheet for the past week or so, you’ve no doubt seen the coverage of the royal birth. It’s as inescapable as a Mexican prison and much more disturbing, in my opinion. I mean, isn’t there some real news happening somewhere?
I think journalist Carl Kasell summed it up best this past weekend on National Public Radio’s quiz show, “Wait, Wait … Don’t Tell Me!” when asked asked to give the audience an update on the royal contractions.
“There’s a baby born every damn minute,” Carl said. “Get over it people.”
Unfortunately, that’s not likely to happen considering every news outlet from Fox to Al Jazeera has been bombarding us with minute-by-minute coverage of the final days of the pregnancy of Kate Middleton, who CNN identified in a screen crawl as the daughter-in-law of the late Princess of Whales. I guess that makes Kate’s husband, Prince William, the Duke of Dolphins.
It’s sad and says a lot about the state of the media these days when highly respected journalists, instead of covering something that really matters in the world such as the horrible violence in Syria or the completely intransigent state of
American politics, are assigned to stake out a British hospital and report on something, as Carl said, that is completely normal and happens every day.
I fully expect to turn on the TV and hear a teaser for this week’s edition of “60 Minutes” that says something like, “Tune in Sunday night for Lesley Stahl’s exclusive scoop on baby’s first poop.”
It’s all poop if you ask me. I mean the kid is, what, third in line for the throne assuming the queen steps down or dies anytime soon, neither of which seems likely to happen? That means by the time he’s 60 or 70 he might actually be second in line. I know the British are keen about queuing up for things but isn’t this starting a little early?
Still, part of the media’s job is to give people what they want and people obviously want to know about the royal birth judging from the throngs of people in the throes of revelry in the streets of London this week who have given new meaning to the term Labor Party.
But, preferring the what people need as opposed to what people want side of journalism, I would point out that most auspicious royal births are usually marked by some unique astronomical event like a comet or the appearance of a bright star.
Sorry, kid, all you get is the annual Delta Aquariid meteor shower which begins Friday night in the southern sky and lasts about a week.
It’s one of the less spectacular of all such events with only about 10 meteors an hour.
MARTY RUSSELL writes a Wednesday column for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org