Escape From History

It would be hard to identify a recent day in the more saturated with “history” than Friday, June 26. You had an epochal marriage equality decision from the U.S. Supreme Court, still echoing from its decision the day before rejecting what could have been a traumatic and politically overwhelming challenge to the Affordable Care Act. down in Charleston, the President of the United States–you know, that secular socialist–delivered a eulogy at the funeral of slain pastor/politician Clementa Pinckney that (I can assure you from my correspondence) made cold-blooded political analysts weep and atheists murmur the lyrics to Amazing Grace.

Overseas, there were four major terrorist attacks–in Tunisia, Kuwait, Somalia and France–which may or may not have been coordinated. And on top of everything else, the Greek government announced it would be holding a referendum on July 5 that might lead to that country’s exit from the Eurozone with all sorts of potential ramifications for the rest of Europe and for the global financial system.

So what were the full-time cable news networks focused on Friday afternoon and evening? You got it: the latest news from the “escaped convicts” case in New York.

I don’t watch TV news much and get my news largely from the internet, where it is possible to screen out “true crime” news if you choose. So my impression that all the sleepless eyes of cable news–even on MSNBC–were mostly focused on the convict story is based on complaints I read in a massive list-serve thread. I’m interested in hearing from those of you who do have the tube on a lot about what you saw and heard Friday. If the powers that be didn’t hear history calling then, will they ever?

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.