Breaking news!

Published 4:40 pm Wednesday, March 5, 2008

When a phrase has been overused it loses its effectiveness. For example, what happens in Vegas….etc…. You know the rest. Now everyone and his uncle are using the catch phrase Breaking News so that we immediately stop what we are doing to see what’s up. It implies excitement, importance, and demands you pay attention!

But not anymore. The importance of breaking news is so water-downed that if a cat somewhere in the Midwest is being rescued from a tree branch a news outlet will give it the headline, “breaking news”.

I used the headline for my column title so maybe some folks stopped and had to read my breaking news column.

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Well, here is my all so important news! I am breaking it now!

“Baseball players are on steroids!”

Wow! Are you shocked? Are you fighting mad? Are you pushing aside all the minor issues of late mortgage payments, high gas prices, illegal immigrants, prescription drugs, healthcare, the war on terror, the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the rising tensions in the hotspots of the world so that you can jump on the bandwagon of justice to devoid our country of juiced up jocks! Well, our government is! Forget all those other things; bring the pitchforks and the torches because since the Red Sox won the series something must be wrong! The universe is out of order! Thankfully, our Congress is on the job!! Help us Obi-Wan!

Is someone investigating the illegal drug use of members of Congress? Or the abuse of legal substances? What is more important, the running of our government or putting asterisks next to a hall of famer? The government must be on something?

Is baseball that important? What do I care if overpaid jocks want to destroy their brain cells as long as I get an entertaining game? I have listened to rock stars all through the seventies on enhancing drugs and not once did I refuse to listen to a song on the radio because I thought the lead singer was under the influence! Can you imagine where Disco came from if not from color enhancing drugs?

Babe Ruth was not a Saint and was either buzzed or on a hangover during his great ball career! Did we consider revoking his awards? Maybe we should asterisk it! **Not a highly moral guy by religious standards but really liked to drink and party with the women!!

And how does asterisking things make them better? Does it clarify the problem? Some wanted an asterisk beside the Patriots season because of the spygate thing? The tiny dot is like saying you achieved this…but… And no one wants a but on their record.

Of course, they would have won the Super Bowl BUT Archie’s boy made the pass!!

Congressional hearings sounds so serious but it has given this Congress witch hunt much fodder for the jokers.

Jay Leno joked, “Congress investigating steroids. It’s kind of ironic, isn’t it? Ted Kennedy asking somebody how their head got so big.”

“Congress is holding hearings on baseball and steroids. Congress is committed to removing performance-enhancing drugs from baseball. You know, I got a better idea. Why don’t we get performance-enhancing drugs out of baseball and give them to Congress? What is their approval rating? 13%? Maybe it would help.”

Or Dave’s words, “How many folks saw the congressional hearings on steroids? I like this. One congressman said baseball can’t be trusted. And I thought well, no, not like we trust Congress.”

I wish my government would pay attention to what I think is important. Maybe a Congressional hearing on important stuff like why some unscrupulous mortgage lenders were throwing money at anyone who would ask for a loan. The responsible lender would either turn them down or limit their amount to be mortgaged, but if you drive down the road a ways, you could pick up a loan for a considerable amount more, with mysterious fees, higher interests rates, and a shocking surprise once you sign your financial life away. You get to pay a higher note in a little while, once you are moved in living your American dream.

But of course, hitting a baseball out of Wrigley Field is more important if it is not done hormone free!

Why can’t we have a Congressional Hearing on Papparazi attacks on our poor American Celebs? Or on the abuse of reality television since the writer’s strike?

Why won’t Congress investigate what happened to my beloved Saints last year? If it takes performance enhancing drugs to get us to the Super Bowl, then let’s do it! If Congress is going to act like a Kangaroo court then let’s make it work for me.

Stop harassing Roger and start working on Raoul.

Is Congress worried someone lied to them because they know they are the ones who do the lying professionally and nobody else better do it! Just like Momma said, “Don’t do like I do, but like I said!”

With all the important issues, steroid abuse seems like a back burner kind of deal and not a breaking news kind of moment. Stop abusing our Congressional time and our media breaking news powers! Let’s put things in the right perspective.

I remember when Breaking News stopped me in my tracks! I have two occasions that brought my world to a saddened stop, the death of Elvis breaking news and the death of Karen Carpenter. You can tell where my priorities lie.

News events have been bigger. The attack on the twin towers did not have the same effect because it was a building news story that grew into a life altering moment of horror and tragedy. As I watched, what seemed a bad event exploded into a major historical exclamation point! That’s not breaking, that’s exploding news.

We must categorize our news so that I won’t rush to the television screen when somebody grabbed a purse at the local super market. There should be “Slight cracking news”, breaking news, and Exploding news!

As for Congress’s attempt to rid us of lying athletes, that should be just “Hairline fracture news.”