There is an unnerving change on the newly retooled, flashier CNN webpage: on the homepage, the EDUCATION section has been replaced by FUNNY NEWS. Education news is not accessible from the front page; you have to search for it.
This is a stark example of "infotainment" trumping crucial kitchen-table issues in mass media. Reports on the far-reaching effects on America's families of the sweeping No Child Left Behind legislation may not make headlines as snazzy as "27-foot wiener gets cop roasted," but they actually matter.
We are in a particularly vital moment for education in America. The monumentally influential and widely criticized NCLB is up for reauthorization. A presidential primary race and a $60 million, Bill Gates-funded advocacy campaign, Ed in '08, is forcing our leaders to talk seriously on the country's crisis of public education. Four million teachers and tens of millions of children grind each day in the classroom in the name of a better future for America. This is news.
I hope CNN, a network that endlessly congratulates itself for "the best political team on television," will rectify this absurd selling out of real news coverage. If CNN is really set on reporting frivolity like "Stealing another's man's wife costs $4,802," then that's their prerogative -- but not at the cost of covering one of our most important domestic issues.