Monday, March 10, 2008

Don't Tell Me What to Read, Buddy...

The Internet has put many thousands of news sources, as they say, ``just a mouse click away’’ (ouch!). Now there is a mammoth pile of punditry and reports about the mind-numblingly myriad (are the alliterations bugging you? They’re killing me) events out there. Readers must choose between what to take in and what to neglect.

Gone are the days when you can read a few newspapers and catch TV news from one of four networks and consider yourself informed about current events.

I sympathize profoundly with Jan Rooth of Hollandale, Fla. In a March 3 letter to The Miami Herald, Rooth argued that the media provided a great deal of space to the flap regarding Louis Farrakahn’s endorsement of Barack Obama, and the Democratic candidate’s renunciation of Farrakhan, but have done little to point out

[T]he cozy relationship between the Republican Party and dangerous radicals like Hagee.

Rooth was referring to the endorsement of John McCain last month by mega-church evangelist Pastor John Hagee. Hagee has been criticized for attacking catholicism and urging military action against Iran to protect Israel.

Hagee has described the Catholic Church as a ``great whore,’’ and ``the anti-Christ,’’ among other things.

Arguably not a man to have in your camp if you’re trying to win votes.

However, The Washington Post and The New York Times covered the Feb. 27 endorsement and the controversy days before Rooth’s letter appeared. But who could blame Rooth for missing those stories? Although the print version of the Times must be available in southern Florida, the story ran on page 8, according to NYT.com.

Is the print edition of the Post available where Rooth lives? I don’t know. I live in western Massachusetts, which is also far from D.C., and I can get only the Sunday edition. I missed the Times and Post stories, too. I didn’t look them up on the Internet until I read Rooth’s letter, which is the first I’d heard of the endorsement.

The first mention of the endorsement on MiamiHerald.com appeared in the bottom of a Feb. 27 article. The paper next referred to it on March 1.

This overwhelmed ``news consumer’’ (ouch!) thanks you, Jan Rooth.

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