Yes, it's very easy to bash the American news media, and yes, I'm about to do it.
Anyone paying close attention to the major news outlets this week would have come away with a good understanding of the Rod Blagoyevich scandal, the Big Three bailout plans, and the tragic story about the little girl in Florida.
So what else happened?
While we squealed with schadenfraude at Mr. Blago's downfall and speculated about the potential effect on the new President-elect and his Chief of Staff (though in fact, Mr. Obama and his camp were verbally lambasted on the tapes for not being willing to participate in Blago's antics), a country burned.
Greece, an ostensible NATO ally and sort-of liberal democracy, was effectively shut down by widespread looting and rioting. Although the trigger was the shooting death of a 15 year-old anarchist (hey, beware those teenage anarchists in the Balkans, they've started at least one World War!), it seems hard to justify the tipping over and burning of cars as some kind of profound political statement.
Hospitals, schools, airports, and many other government and private offices were closed this week amidst fear that the current government might collapse. Pockets of disturbance were noted in other Mediterranean and Western cities with Greek citizenry/influence.
A lot of people cared. Some feared for their lives. In Europe, this was blaring across the front pages with banner headlines.
But even to a conscientious American following the daily news cycle, it might've completely stayed under the proverbial radar.
Rather than just complain about the steady diet of bread, circus, and OJ Simpson we receive, however, we can use the Internet to vote with our keyboards and mice.
Not so many years ago, we were very limited in terms of what news we could access; thankfully, the Internet really is a game-changer in that sense. So don't fall into the trap of just checking cnn.com for your headlines. If you do, you're missing out on real news and getting way too mired in The War on Cholesterol and How Much Ritalin For Your Child is Too Much?
Read the BBC. Venture out to the (many) other English-speaking countries and stuff out there. For Pete's sake, even The Drudge Report will expose you to a lot of international news that you might not see otherwise.
After all, how many news stories about finding homes for the dogs and cats who are orphaned by Gulf Coast hurricanes can you stand?