Media needs to ignore “non-stories”

By Holly New

The media should be ashamed of itself.

Over the weekend, as I was perusing the news blotters searching for a story to opinionate on, I found myself consistently stumbling on an utterly annoying story: Barack Obama’s golf game with Tiger Woods.


I get frustrated when I see stories like this because they don’t fall in the politics section. If anything, this is entertainment. We have so many problems–from the debate on gun laws to potential military cuts–that even wasting a breath talking about a golf games seems ridiculous…except when you really look at it.

Obama went golfing in the middle of yet another budget crisis. On top of that, he golfed with Woods, someone not of the best reputation.

We must first ask ourselves how much this little weekend cost us.

Margaret Talev of Bloomberg reported that according to White House spokesman Josh Earnest, Obama “paid for his own expenses, including greens fees, lodging and food….” Talev reported that “taxpayers pay for presidents’ travel and that of his entourage of staff and Secret Service personnel.” Thank goodness we didn’t have to pay for dinner.

What really kills me, though, is that the rest of the Obama family went on a ski trip in Aspen, Colo., in celebration of President’s Day. The only thing this trip meant was another plane ride the taxpayers had to cover. For such a huge supporter of the middle class, Obama sure doesn’t vacation like one.

However, droning on about the Obamas taking a vacation won’t solve anything. I suppose I could understand vacationing, considering the presidency isn’t the easiest job in the world. In all honesty, I don’t care about Obama taking a vacation and golfing with Tiger Woods.

I care about the media giving time to stories that don’t matter.

Many major news outlets ran coverage on this story. Am I the only one missing the fact that this isn’t a story? Obama has taken more than 100 golf trips since taking office. This headline is getting old.

Similar stories have run about Michelle Obama’s new haircut. In fact, Michelle’s discussion about her new bangs was even a political headline on ABC News. Her haircut isn’t political news. Instead, it disgraces the name of news.

According to Kevin Cirilli of Politico, syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer appeared on the O’Reilly Factor saying, “This is the biggest non-story that the media have created since the Kardashian wedding.” I have to agree.

With each silly story that crosses our hypothetical desk, readers must stop and ask themselves: Is this really news?

As Krauthammer would put it, it’s important not to be caught up in the “non-stories.” Becoming well-informed involves reading multiple sources as well as taking a keen eye to what’s being said. As readers, it’s our job to stay up to date.

However, it’s the media’s job to help.