I Read the News Today, Oh Boy

By Betsy Bradford

Yesterday, I had the misfortune of seeing a spot on CNN in which they were discussing a Lance Armstrong quotation. Apparently, Armstrong stated that people would forgive him, like they forgave Bill Clinton. More specifically, he said that the public would "forget" what he did, like they forgot Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky. He also said that he wants to be the president of the world, like Bill Clinton.

This is so many levels of stupid, I don't even want to get into it. So I won't. Instead, I'm going to talk about CNN and how dumb they are for their treatment of this. Is it a newsworthy quotation? I guess so. But how much time does one need to spend on it? I'm not sure exactly how long this spot was on, but it was at least ten minutes. I get the CNN is a 24 hour news station. 24 hours is a lot of time to fill up, but seriously? Surely something more important is happening in the world.

Even worse is the level of gravitas with which the reporters were discussing this quotation. Everything that Armstrong said was patently absurd, and any person with two brain cells to rub together would know that. As far as I'm concerned, any discussion of this quotation should be limited to, "this is dumb; let's move on." Instead, the anchors were dissecting it and pulling apart every subtle nuance that wasn't there. They carefully underscored all of the differences between Lance Armstrong and Bill Clinton, while somehow failing to discuss the most obvious one: Lance Armstrong was a doping athlete, and Bill Clinton was an adulterous politician. How are the two even related?

On the plus side, I think we can rest assured that Armstrong's quotation won't be in the news for long. After all, the Catholic Church named a new pope today. He's from South America and he opposed gay marriage and contraception. This will give the CNN anchors something new to talk about, and really something that actually matters.

Looking back at Lance Armstrong, I think he's being overly optimistic. We hate liars and cheaters in this country. Maybe we will forgive him like we forgave Clinton, which is to say, many people won't forgive him. That said, I think we will forget his latest gem soon enough. After all, ridiculous people say ridiculous things, and we all have more important things to worry about.

Oops, I said I wasn't going to talk about that, didn't I? Oh, well. According to Armstrong, Americans are abundant in their forgiveness, so I hope you all will pardon me. In the meantime, I think I'll switch off CNN and go back to Jon Stewart.