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Give Us Real News - February 14, 1997

Richard Brian McCarty

I am a frustrated man. I usually look forward to taking an hour out of each evening and watching my local news and CNN. But, this week I have had it with the news. The reason is an ex-football player named OJ.

On my local news tonight, there was a woman who once knew OJ. CNN talks to attorneys, nannies, friends, relatives, and the meter reader at Simpson's Brentwood estate. And, what is really outrageous is watching reporters talk to themselves about the Simpson saga. Here's how those conversations typically go:

" So Larry, you have been at the courthouse now for both trials. Do you think this is over?"

" No, " Larry says, " There is an appetite for this story. It will not die."

At least my fictional friend Larry and his real life counterparts hope not. Let's face it, they are getting paid for some relatively easy work. They sit around all day, interview people on the street who just happen by, and get a little bit of the glory of it all. You know they want this story to live. Let's face it, the others stories they could be covering would involve a little work and, God forbid, a bit of danger. They would not be in the glitz of Los Angeles, and they might mess their hair up.

There are a ton of real news stories out there that should push a trial of a wealthy man out of the newscast and papers. Yet, they spark no interest. I have been told by one reporter friend that hard news stories lack excitement.

Well, please. Let's look at some of the stories Americans don't hear about.

Boris Yeltsin's rivals to power are circling as his health continues to suffer. Ho hum, right? That's over there, right? Some will ask " who in the Hell is Boris Yeltsin?" He is just the ailing President of the world"s second largest nuclear power. And, his rivals don't like him or us. Some of those rivals would like to point a few ICBMs back at the United States. Does that excite you any?

Couple that with Clinton's Administration's new hard press to cut the national defense even further. Shouldn't we be talking about how to save our butts in the Twenty-First Century instead of pointing at each other over a washed up celebrity's rather twisted life?

There is a precarious peace in Korea that could erupt in a war at any time, a war in which our troops would be in the middle. American troops are in harm's way in Bosnia and in Haiti still. And, the morale of the military is being shaken by harassment while it is under the strain. But, the media worries about what AC " Al " Cowens had for breakfast. (The fact that he has given up OJ at breakfast has made some speculate that is a symbol of what he thinks of Mr. Simpson)

And, that goes on while the Clinton Administration is trying to get to your kids before breakfast. The newly submitted " balanced " budget does not balance at all, and in fact, increases the size and scope of government--especially in the lives of children. But, Dateline has some plaintiff's attorney, who won one case, sit and gloat about his victory over OJ. Whoopeee. Thousands of attorneys across the country have won harder cases. Great. Fantastic. Now please go back to your Los Angeles law office and be quiet. We have some real issues to cover.

I remember a few years ago, there was a little old lady who asked a very important question that now applies to the media, " Where's the beef?" With real problems at home and abroad, and American troops in harm's way, can't there be something a little more newsworthy than the cast of losers from Los Angeles to fill the shows and papers?

Richard Brian McCarty has worked on several political campaigns of conservatives. He holds a Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina and a BS degree from Lander University. An experienced writer, McCarty's columns are written from a distinctly Southern point of view. He is sometimes Southern, sometimes conservative, sometimes humorous, and sometimes all three.


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