Parched for information


The most notable moment of Tuesday’s State of the Union wasn’t President Barack Obama’s proposal to increase the minimum wage, a renewed commitment to environmental protection or a promise to reform immigration policy.

Instead, Marco Rubio’s dry mouth stole the show.


Instead of dissecting the plausibility of a Trans-Pacific Partnership or denigrating Obama’s eccentric appeal for gun control legislation, lazy reporters were aghast over a guy taking a sip of water. They made a spectacle out of seriousness.

The American people deserve their fair share of criticism, and we’ll get to them, but they can’t be adequately informed if their news media feed them junk food for dinner.

The media have been trained for years by their audience. Americans love reality TV, sports and zombies.

An estimated 33 million people tuned in, the lowest total since 2000. The Super Bowl garnered 108 million viewers.

We’re on the precipice of the sequester, immigration reform, Far East trade policy and controversial gun control legislation — and hardly anyone is paying attention.

It’s impossible to maintain the status of, or even pretend to be, the greatest country in the world when nobody is informed.

Continual improvement requires collective action. 

Watching “Buckwild,” whatever that show is, won’t restore the world’s faith in our economy. Foreign investors won’t find a safe haven in a society overrun by smut and sitcoms.

Forecasters have been warning of future perils for years. We are the first generation that will likely not be better off than our predecessors, and while most of the responsibility falls at their feet, we’re not doing enough to change it.