News Channels Need Doses Of World Events During Presidential Campaign

The political frenzy from this year’s election has caught everyone up in the back-and-forth of debates, polls, and primaries.   It is a truly fascinating time.  But with as much relish as this drama creates I am reminded, as I am every four years at this time, there is a whole world that is also making news and it should be followed.

As a I hunted on the all news cable channels this week for any hint that one of our modern-day heroes was coming back from space the images of Donald Trump and Marco Rubio talking about the sizes of (whatever) filled my television screen.  So I flip the channel to find yet another assembled panel of pundits who really were no smarter than the ones who gathered around our dinner table for Super Tuesday.

OK, so maybe our dinner table banter this week ranked as more esoteric, and ranged far beyond politics.  With three folks holding a PhD why not range far and wide for discussion?  But meanwhile on television with how wrong most of the pundits have been since last June it probably would not have hurt to take a few minutes and show Scott Kelly making history.

On caucus election nights the all news channels have no problem showing small boxes on the screen with nothing more taking place than folks gathered around a room talking to each other.  Surely then there had to have been a way to incorporate Kelly’s trip back to earth into the election coverage Tuesday night.  Pundits could have weaved the need to increase funding for space missions into the election night vote count.    The assembled group in our home made that NASA connection.   I will leave it to my readers to guess which person led the charge on that topic.

Then there was another important topic which received no coverage this week on the all news channels–and now that O.J. Simpson has a new headline–it is all but certain this story never wil land as copy in the hands of an on-air anchor.

The story comes from the Middle East where Saudi Arabia made another baffling foreign policy decision.  This time the oil kingdom is punishing Lebanon for Hezbollah’s siding with Iran in Syria.  By curtailing billions of dollars in aid to Lebanon means the small nation will feel even more dangerously the turf battle between Shiite Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia.

What Saudi King Salman does on the other side of the world may not seem as exciting to some as the size of whatever on Donald Trump but the consequences of the king’s actions are immense.

I know PBS covered this story on NewsHour and newspapers reported this event.  (Which is how I came to know more about it.)  But most folks are not curled up with the NYT or Judy Woodruff.  I happen to feel the all news channels might–just from time to time–report on world events–even though there is that great discussion concerning Chris Christie being kidnapped which hold so many viewers captive.