The big story these days is the weather, which is wretchedly cold. Temperatures haven’t yet reached absolute zero, that theoretical point at which all molecular activity is suspended, but they’ve gone low enough to slow down all the other news to a near halt.
There’s still plenty of work for the reporters to do, of course. Aside from the familiar television features where a parka-clad correspondent stands out in the weather and talks about how cold it is, there are interviews to be done with travelers stranded at snowbound airports, speculation to be made about how the big freeze might affect the agriculture and energy sectors, lists of school closings to be compiled for scrolling along the bottom of the screen, and all the other obligatory cold weather tales to be told. Now is an inopportune time for stories about global warming, which will be kept in editors’ “tickler files” until the first inevitable heat wave of next summer, but the Secretary of Health and Human seized the opportunity to encourage Americans to sign up for Obamacare before catching a cold, sportswriters can type with frost-bitten fingers about the brutal conditions at the National Football League playoff games, and there are any number of other cold-weather angles to be wedged into routine reports.
Which is not to say that there’s nothing going on in the world except the cold. Al-Qaeda has recaptured the Iraqi city of Fallujah that American soldiers and Marines once fought bravely to liberate, it is increasingly apparent that Obamacare is clearly not the cure for the common cold, and the newly-inaugurated commie mayor of New York City has begun his campaign to create a socialist utopia by banning Central Park carriage rides and conveniently freeing up the stables for a campaign donor’s new development, among other things. All of it is dispiriting, but it’s hard to get one’s blood appropriately boiling about it when the wind chill is well below zero. Whatever the next debacle the Obama administration is planning, they should unleash it now while the public is preoccupied with this even more dreadful weather.
— Bud Norman