My buddy Media Bloodhound had a simple question: why was the announcement that Tiger Wood needed reconstructive knee surgery so important that it led the CBS Evening News for a full 4 1/2 minute segment (out of 22 minutes of broadcast time)? It wasn't as if it was a slow news day. Look at some of the stories MBH found that day that CBS opted not to do:
Israeli Defense Officials Confirm Cease-Fire with Hamas to Begin Thursday
Baghdad Insists on Right to Veto US Operations
Bill Extending Jobless Benefits Is Blocked By G.O.P.
Baghdad Blast Leaves 51 Dead, And the Shiites Call for Revenge
Notes Show Confusion on Interrogation Methods
One-Third of People Shot by Taser Need Medical Attention
Chinese Quake Toll, 69,172, Is Just a Guess
Senators Deny Knowing Of Home Loan Favoritism; Senate Ethics Panel Is Investigating
More Illegal Crossings Are Criminal Cases, Group Says
Conflicts Displacing More People
UN Says 5 Million Could Go Hungry in Zimbabwe Due to Drop in Food Production, High Inflation
Man with Deadly Skin Cancer Saved by New Treatment
Sudan: Darfur Groups Urge U.N. Action
US Targets Venezuela-Based Hezbollah Helpers
Taliban Take Afghan Villages In South in Prelude to Battle
Three Men Charged for Politkovskaya Murder: Investigators
New Florida Rules Return More Than 115,000 Ex-Offenders to Voting Rolls
Pakistani Fury Over U.S. Airstrikes Imperils Training of Frontier Force
So MBH contacted Rick Kaplan, Executive Producer of CBS Evening News, and this is his pathetic answer:
"The Tiger Woods injury story was of major importance and we felt we needed to devote time to it as the lead. Tiger is arguably one of the world's premiere athletes and his career is in some jeopardy with Tiger halting playing the sport for the year. It was certainly the most talked about story of the day, and the biggest story in most national newspapers. Our story contained implications for sports, millions of fans, and many aspects of business; which have by and large been revolutionized by the Tiger Woods phenomenon."
If you want to know why such thin gruel often passes for serious news on network television, Mr. Kaplan's statement perfectly underscores the warped priorities of corporate media.