Monday, May 02, 2005

Run away!

The media have reentered an odd, pre-9/11 zone. It started sometime around the Scott Peterson trial and now has reached new heights with the runaway bride story. Oh, and Drudge is hyping some ABC expose of Paula’s shenanigans at American Idol. The media’s obsession with such inane trivia recalls the summer of 2001, when the case of missing intern Chandra Levy and Gary Condit became a 24/7 media obsession. Except the Levy case was more interesting, or had some fleeting hard news value. At least someone actually was missing. And dead.

After four years of color-coded panic, is this a sign that we’re in the clear – or that something’s about to blow? I don't know if the undistilled idiocy of 24/7 coverage of cold feet is as provocative to our enemies as some other things, like pierced navels and the Crusades. But you never know. There are signs that we're letting down our guard. Ivo Daalder speculates that Bush believes we’ve won – at least for now – and can move on to other things, like Social Security.