Is it coincidence, American stupidity or are "they" really that clever? Just as the Bush Administration begins to die its richly deserved death of a thousand cuts for policies that are idiotic, arrogant and incompetently executed, up pops Don Imus and the Duke lacrosse exonerators to provide convenient circus entertainment for the masses.
There is, of course, something that makes a pseudoissue, such as the "ho-dom" of allegedly "nappy haired" athletes a biting controversy. Unlike the significance of the bombing in Baghdad's supposedly safe Green Zone or the widening gap between the middle class' stagnated household incomes and those of W's pals or the abuse of authority in firing prosecutors or ... one need only have an elementary school education to opine on Imus.
That's the real issue: the dumbing down of America.
Only a nation mired in reality television would confuse evaluating the use of rap language in sports commentary with debate within a polity of self-governed citizens. Only a duped populace would demand that privileged university athletes obtain retribution from a mentally ill woman poor and degraded enough to work as a stripper.
My concern is what it says about the future. How can a nation awash in trivial fantasy confront the real rapes and the real insults perpetrated by the present occupants of the White House?
Think I'm exaggerating? Consider the rape of Iraq, a nation that never did the United States any harm whatsoever. Or think about the insult of taking tax money that should have been preserved to pay for the retirement of the baby boom generation to give it to the richest 2 percent of the population.
I'm only scratching the surface. It's not clear to me what will happen to America, only that hope is the only thing we have left. Let's not let the media manipulators distract us from that hope.