Wednesday, October 31, 2001


Last month, when KausFiles predicted that the terrorism story could well be off our personal radar screens by the time Thanksgiving rolled around -- due to the phenomenon of cultural "speeded-up information processing" -- he was thoroughly poo-poohed by the entire Blog-ocracy community for daring to gauge the limits of public sentiment against its historical attention span. Wrote Mickey Kaus on 9/12:

Media coverage of the 9/11 attack often emphasizes that it will be a "long time before America gets back to normal," etc. The opposite is likely to be closer to the truth -- we'll get back to normal all too quickly, in keeping with the tendency (often discussed in this space) for the population to process information much faster than in former, less wired times. (Don't you feel as if you've lived about a month in the past two days?) I suspect the story will be off the evening news by Thanksgiving -- a denial, in a warped way, of the attackers' disruptive goal. ...

Of course, those words were written before troops were deployed and the anthrax counterstrike started in earnest, and no one could have foreseen how they would reinvigorate and refresh the news cycle.

Still, is Mickey about to be vindicated? Is the story starting to lose its legs? Might it at least, occasionally, be positioned after the lead or "below the fold" in another month's time? The New York Daily News suggests, at least insofar as television news is concerned, maybe so!

[UPDATE: Mickey Kaus replies: Thanks very much. Still a month to go! But, seriously, while I can't quite reconstruct what I was thinking when I wrote that item, I THINK I was thinking about the emotional grief-reaction to the WTC collapse, not the subsequent military campaign. But it's hard to believe I couldn't anticipate some long-lasting military reaction. Excellent blog. I'll keep coming back. cheers]


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