The Duke Distraction:
Over at CNNMSNBCFox, a great, huge sigh of relief must have gone up a couple of weeks ago when a young black woman from a traditionally black college in a mostly black town accused the assholes on the lacrosse team at very white, very rich Duke University of rape at one of their asshole parties where they get to pretend they're not all really jonesin' to fuck each other by maybe raping the evening's stripper. With Natalee Holloway becoming a memory of the Aruban tides and no missing white children to worry about, there was a very real possibility that CNNMSNBCFox may have had to cover the news.

Like this morning, you could actually see the moment where CNN's American Morning's Soledad O'Brien unclenched her sphincter muscles when she moved on quickly: "A little bit of movement to tell you about on immigration this morning. Republican leaders, Bill Frist and Dennis Hastert, are backing off provisions in their bills that would make illegal immigration a felony. That's been a big complaint of both Democrats and protesters in the streets, as well. And despite an apparent lack of DNA evidence, the rape case against Duke University's lacrosse players may be far from over. CNN's Amanda Rosseter is live for us at Duke University in Durham this morning." Oh, shit, you could see in her doe eyes, lemme swim through the mire and shit of hard national news to get to the blissful liferaft of local crime. (This was right after Miles O'Brien quickly glossed over the Washington Post report that President Bush lied about the so-called Iraqi biological weapons mobile homes o' mass destruction he crowed about in 2003. It was the only mention of it the entire morning.)

Sweet Christ, how the news net anchors must be making sacrifices of virgin interns at the grave of Morton Downey, Jr. for thanks that Durham D.A. Mike Nifong has decided to press on with the case, despite the failure of DNA tests to link any players to the alleged victim. For, indeed, without the raped body of a black woman to exploit, Anderson Cooper might have to ask more about Seymour Hersh's New Yorker report that the United States is considering the use of nukes in Iran than "When you hear of tactical nukes, what do you think?" Which was all that Cooper pursued the issue with former Brigadier General David Grange. 'Cause, you know, the mainstream media wouldn't want to actually think about what it might mean if the U.S. nukes Iran. (And all you cats and kids out there over thirty, doesn't this whole bombing Iran thing seem even more retro than blowing the shit out of Iraq?)

Goddamn, it's so great that Duke sophomore, lacrosse player, and asshole Ryan McFadyen wrote an e-mail where he said the team, in a bizarre bonding ritual, would kill and skin strippers as a way of demonstrating, one presumes, that they really like fucking women instead of deeply desiring to feel each other's cocks in each other's mouths. Because what the fuck would Rita Crosby, Dan Abrams, Joe Scarborough and myriad other bottom feeders have to talk about? Issues? Things that matter to more than just a single community? Would CNNMSNBCFox have to create shows that aren't merely plagues upon all of us, sucking our attention spans dry so that our heads are so full of Laci and Natalee and who-the-fuck-ever that we don't have time to think about, say, the ongoing clusterfuck of failure that is the response to Hurricane Katrina? One imagines that if Greta Van Susteren didn't have a dead or damaged female to parade around, she'd go out and whack the first blonde she saw (watch out, E.D.).

Yeah, between the Duke rape investigation and the ludicrously overwrought Zacharias Moussaoui sentencing trial, there's not much time left for real explorations of real ideas, conflicts, failures, fuck-ups, and destruction. It's not like any of that shit matters when there's a murdered or battered woman to thrust out there, shining that spotlight on her and everyone around her, making sure that we know more about the Dutch guys accused of doing something some night with Natalee Holloway than we know about our nation's plans for future, unending war, for which, if a draft has to happen, might thin the ranks of the assholes on the Duke lacrosse team.