Thursday, February 12, 2009

Biden at Special Olympics but NO National Media

A few days ago, I saw a story on one of the local Boise TV stations about the media coverage for the Special Olympics. While there were news agencies represented from all over the world and from the local Boise area, not a single U.S. news agency was represented. Not one. Of course, something like this would attract the local news stations, and I'm gratified that news agencies from across the globe found this event worth their time and energy and worth it to their audiences, but apparently CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, and the rest of the popular American media outlets didn't consider it "news worthy". When I heard that Vice President Biden was scheduled to make an appearance at the Special Olympics today, I was sure (along with plenty of other people here) that the major U.S. news agencies would be coming along with him. In fact, it would have been pretty stunning if the news media didn't follow the VP around whenever he travelled to a public event. Guess what? Air Force 2 arrived. Vice President Biden arrived. No, I mean NO (yes, I'm yelling) National media accompanied him. I don't really care if CNN or whoever slaps Boise, Idaho in the face, but I do care that they have slapped all of these terrific athletes around. Heck, I saw news coverage on NBC today that covered the preparations for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, and that event won't happen for another year! The Special Olympics are happening right now! Unfortunately, my one voice can't reach any of these organizations or their decision makers to register my outrage. I'm not a "news worthy" person myself, so even if I could get them to hear me, I doubt that they'd care. Obviously they don't care about the participants in the Special Olympics, their challenges, how they've heroically overcome those challenges, and how they've achieved their victories. The other thing that occurs to me is that it may not be the news media in this country that doesn't give a rip, but the citizens of our "fine nation". After all, if the U.S. media thought that the American public was really on fire to learn about the Special Olympics and focused on all of the events being held, they'd have shown up. Maybe we're (Americans) all worried so much about the economy, that we can't be bothered. Maybe if President Obama had shown up, the media and the public would have cared. It's just sad that people and the media don't care about the Special Olympics and these Olympians for their own sake. I don't always have a lot of respect for the popular media and sometimes not for the American people in general. My opinion of both just went down a notch. My heartfelt thanks to all those news agencies that travelled several days and thousands of miles to be here and to report on the Special Olympics. I thank your audiences who must have expressed enough of an interest so that you would come here. Update: Here's a link to local coverage of Biden's visit to the Special Olympics by NBC affiliate station