Zen News

The art of reporting that nothing happened.

I know no better indicator of the current mood in Washington than this news story from the International Herald Tribune (via the New York Times Web site). The headline reads, “No Announcement From Leak Counsel as Deadline Approaches.” The story is a cri de coeur about the absence of an indictment in the White House investigation. It’s content-free and utterly useless except as a sign that newspapers are very anxious to learn what will happen. On this topic, even the absence of news is news!

Other possible headlines in this vein: “Tom DeLay Not Yet Convicted,” “Al-Qaida Doesn’t Strike Again in U.S.,” and “Judy Miller Not Yet Canned By Times.” The headlines anybody can write. It takes a pro to write the stories.