On Sunday's Face The Nation, Doyle McManus, Washington bureau chief of the L.A. Times (yes, Mr. Zell, they still have a Washington bureau, why do you ask?), gave an invaluable insight into the way stories do, or don't, become "news". Asked about the supposed John McCain gaffe, in which the Senator conflated Iran's interests in Iraq (Shiite) with Al-Qaeda (Sunni), McManus explained that it didn't become a major news story this week because "Iraq wasn't what was on voters' minds."
Forget the fact that the supposed gaffe had been spoken by McCain more than once (including on Hugh Hewitt's radio show), or that McCain had even had to be corrected by Joe Lieberman when he described Purim as sort of like the Jewish Halloween (really). Voters decide, by what's on our minds, what stories make the news. Never knew you had that much power, did you?
Thank goodness the polls, by which Mr. McManus divines what's on our minds, always get it right.