The Sift returns today after taking last week off.
It’s been an eventful two weeks: The Supreme Court term ended its term with some major decisions and President Obama announced his climate-change plan. But as I drove thousands of miles and listened to the satellite-radio audio of the TV news networks, I was struck by how hard it was sometimes to get any real news at all. Instead, coverage was often dominated by stories that were basically soap opera or gossip: Paula Deen, the search for Edward Snowden, or the painfully slow drip-drip-drip of information from the George Zimmerman trial. I had to listen to Obama’s climate speech on C-SPAN, because the other networks thought they had better things to cover.
My original motive to do something like the Weekly Sift comes from a period in the 90s when I suffered from what I came to call “CNN addiction”. I got obsessed with whatever the hyped “news” story of the day was — O. J. Simpson, Elian Gonzalez, and so on — to the point that I had trouble focusing on the things that I actually needed to think about.
That’s why the Sift filters that stuff out and tries to present just the news that actually does deserve your attention. Normally it’s enough just to ignore the other stuff, but there’s so much of it around right now that I feel the need to do an intervention. So this week’s first article — it should appear within the next hour — is “Are you a ‘news’ addict?”.
The other featured article will be a sober, dispassionate analysis of the Supreme Court’s DOMA and Voting Rights Act decisions called “This Court Sucks”. Reading those two poorly justified decisions on consecutive days — one that I agreed with and one that I didn’t — convinced me that it’s not just my liberal bias talking: The Roberts Court really does suck. Both Roberts and Kennedy wrote political mush that has no business calling itself a legal decision. Scalia’s DOMA dissent was a temper tantrum that should embarrass our entire judiciary. The only opinion in the batch that sounded like a judge writing about the law was Ginsburg’s dissent on the VRA decision.
The weekly summary will look at the impact of those decisions, Obama’s climate announcement, the immigration bill, Obama “scandals” that continue to fizzle out, the best radio station for passing the time on a long drive, and some other stuff I thought was fun.