Confessions of a News Junkie


I was a news junkie for two days. On Tuesday and Wednesday, I did little else but watch MSNBC, CNN and call up news online and watch YouTube videos.

I’ve known news junkies. I once knew a guy in Cleveland who told me when he was at the office or at home, he had a TV going with a news channel on it at all times. In every room, including his bathroom, for every waking moment. I thought, “Wow, that’s really . . . booooooooring.”

The presidential primary election on Tuesday is what drew me in. I started to not only understand the stats (“Of the 37% of white voters in North Carolina who voted for Obama, 83% are working class rural former supporters of Bill Clinton, of which 58% said they would not vote against John McCain if Hillary Clinton were the Democratic nominee.”) but I also began to actually care. I started to wait for Chris Matthews to tell me how a demographic of what boils down to 14 people I don’t know who live in Indiana will vote in November, if they can get a ride to the polls.

In the midst of that, I got a phone call and an email from two friends alerting me to the Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann scandal. I know some of the people involved, so it was personally painful and at the same time fascinating to watch just how quickly a handful of Youngstown politicians can muck up state government, with just an expense account, beer and a Hawaiian pizza to work with. 

That led to a mini-obsession over the Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick sex scandal, and new updates on the former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey sex scandal. Among the three, you’ve got sex toys, unbuttoned pants, three ways, and farts in a Tupperware container. I could go on, but do you really want me to?

It’s a miracle I can get a load of laundry done around here.

Some fun facts that have come out of my 48-hour news junkie stint:

Did You Know that your text messages can be forensically tweezed out of your cell phone if you happened to be in the middle of an Ohio Attorney General Sex Scandal?  If I ever get into trouble, just know that when I texted my husband thatggt hmw skillmmNc I meant “Call me after your meeting.” My inability to figure out textspeak may save me someday.

Did You Know that no matter how many times you say, “It’s not illegal to have consensual sex,” your constituents will still not want you to drive a state owned vehicle or live in the condo that they’re paying for?

Did You Know that there is a YouTube video of just about everything every person does all the time? And that by watching enough YouTube videos you can conclude that most people have bad teeth, limp hair and a tacky afghan across the back of the couch.

The Internet is great and all, but the problem is the links. You’ll be just about saturated with one news story, having read the same quotes three or four times and getting a stiff neck and cold-as-death mouse hand, and then you’ll glance over to the right side of the page and see a link for “Sex Dungeon Dad Says He’s ‘Not a Monster’” and there goes another hour and a half. Just when you’ve read all about Sven and his bad behavior, you’ll see an ad for “Teeth Whiteners Exposed.”

Goodbye Wednesday afternoon . . .