Covering the Relevant Stories

What interests the media? Let's look at a couple of stories.

Over the course of the last 30 days, the McCain campaign has raised questions - legitimate questions - about former community organizer* Barack Obama's relationship with unrepentant terrorist William "Bill" Ayers. The McCain campaign even released an ad, to which the Obama campaign responded with an ad of their own, specifically about the Ayers-Obama relationship. The release of papers by the University of Chigago from the Annenberg Challenge revealed that Obama's earlier assertion that "this is a guy who lives in my neighborhood. ... He's not somebody who I exchange ideas from on a regular basis" was, at best, incomplete and inaccurate.

On Monday, it was revealed that Republican VP Candidate Sarah Palin's daughter Bristol, 17, is pregnant and preparing to marry the father.

A quick check at Yahoo news for stories about these two different people reveals the following counts:
"Bristol Palin" - 665
"William Ayers" - 442
"Bill Ayers" - 135

Total stories mentioning Bristol Palin in the last 30 days: 665
Total stories mentioning William Ayers in the last 30 days: 577

Let's check Google news:
"Bristol Palin" - 2148
"William Ayers" - 1502
"Bill Ayers" - 515

Total stories mentioning Bristol Palin in the last 30 days: 2148
Total stories mentioning William Ayers in the last 30 days: 2017

Because a Vice-Presidential candidate's daughter's life is far more relevant than the long-time associates of a Presidential candidate...



* - The Obama campaign has chosen to characterize Goveror Palin as the former Mayor of Wasilla. Following their lead, I plan to ignore the fact that Mr. Obama is a sitting United States Senator and refer to him as a former community organizer. At other times, I may call him a "former back-bencher in the Illinois legislature," which sounds even less impressive. Maybe I'll just let them choose.