There are other things going on in the world, but the media seems to remain content to put this front and center. All of this is despite the fact, there are certainly more pressing things to consider. But, really now. Who wants to think about anything that could seriously effect people's lives, when you can have one of your own peers for breakfast, lunch, and dinner?
But that's not all there is to it. It's going to get old fast, if we keep re-inventing the wheel. So naturally, there will be a need to have this ripple out into other stories, just to keep this thing alive. It's going to need a little help.
The Boston Globe being the fine beacon of truth and responsibility it is, has chosen to sow more discord by making this a political issue.
With the Rev. Al Sharpton leading calls Monday for radio host Don Imus to be fired over racially insensitive remarks, Senator Barack Obama's presidential campaign avoided the controversy throughout the day.
See? Nice lead-in.
Not until Monday evening, five days after Imus's comments were uttered and hours after CBS Radio and MSNBC announced a two-week suspension for the radio host, did Obama weigh in, saying in a statement: "The comments of Don Imus were divisive, hurtful, and offensive to Americans of all backgrounds." Obama did not address whether he thought Imus should be taken off the air.
Just guessing here, but Obama may have had other things to do? He is a Senator and he is running for President, so it may stand to reason that he has more important things to do than to get involved with a highly controversial figure with severe credibility problems, like Al Sharpton.
The episode is the first test of how Obama -- who is of mixed-race background -- is handling the contentious issue of race in his presidential campaign. Even as polls have shown other Democrats attracting a large share of the black vote, Obama has steered clear of the kind of activism symbolized by Sharpton and the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who were both highly visible in the Imus episode but whose aggressiveness on race issues has alienated some white voters in the past.
Here's what it looks like to me.
Al Sharpton wants to drive the train in the black community. He's clearly said in the past that he is withholding support for Obama, until he sees how Obama is going to act. Al is based in NY, Hillary is based in NY, the NYT (which owns the Boston Globe) is based in NY, Obama hasn't got a chance with this publication to start with. Al wants to be the kingmaker, plain and simple.
But from the looks of things, Obama realizes that it's not in his best interests to get overly worked up over this thing. Sharpton is well recognized by many, as a divider. And Obama wants to see himself as a uniter. His remarks are going to be measured and professional, not easily given over to a mere moment of emotional appeal.
But the big thing in all of this to note is, this is an implicit attempt to plant the question in the minds of those in the black community: Is Obama black enough? Sharpton appears to be headed that way. There's a good chance, he's already made his mind up to support Hillary and believe me, Hillary doesn't like Imus either. He's called her everything in the world, including Satan. For her, it would be a good time to shore up support from Al and stick it to Imus at the same time.
But to do so, would drastically affect credibility. Sharpton is a power-hungry race-baiting troublemaker. And if either candidate is smart, they will rightly condemn the statements made by Imus and move on. After that, the market will decide whether or not to fire Imus. CBS, MSNBC, and the radio station he originates from will make that determination. The last thing any candidate should do, is get in bed with Al. That's for sure.