For the second day in a row, I’m complaining about The Washington Post. Front page, center today — a giant color photo of a child at the National Zoo, gleeful about seeing Giant Pandas. “Shutdown Would Be Felt Far and Wide,” blares the headline beside the gratuitous photo. You must understand, people wielding machetes will be roaming the streets of America, locusts will plague every home, taxpayer-funded Blackberrys for government employees may be shut off!!! Well, the Blackberry part may be true. But that gets to my point. The Washington Post wants us to panic, I think.
The paper is freaking out over the prospects of, wait for it, a shutdown of the Washington Monument, the Cherry Blossom Parade, and national parks. Oh, and there’s the Blackberry conundrum and the possible closing of the historic Ford’s Theater. Now, I am not thrilled about the prospect of these inconveniences. I’m sure loads of tourists have travel plans to D.C. this month and will not be pleased, either. But, two sections over, over on the the WaPo Style section, there’s a helpful article about “10 Things Tourists Can Do — Without Their Uncle Sam.” Whew! Before reading the Style section, one might have thought life as we know it would come to an end. It turns out there are alternatives to ogling pandas at the zoo.
By the way, underneath the aforementioned front page child-and-panda picture, the WaPo suggests four other related stories in today’s paper:
Cost of a Shutdown — The negative economic impact of a federal government shutdown on the region…
Backs Against the Wall — In this budget fight, many conservatives realize they have put themselves in a corner. [That’s posing as a news story on page A6, btw, not an editorial.]
The Road Less Traveled — [the Style section story I mentioned]
Opinions – E.J. Dionne, Jr [liberal talking points icon]: Will moderates stand up to Paul Ryan’s radical plan? [emphasis added]
It’d be nice if the WaPo seemed nearly as concerned about the very real fiscal need for spending cuts (a la Paul Ryan’s budget) or at least understanding about why some Americans might be, finally, really peeved at Congress for its profligate taxing, spending and regulating.
Oh, and one last thing: if someone else is paying for your Blackberry, you’re not entitled to the Blackberry. If you need to find a work-around, try buying your own mobile device and direct your essential contacts to that.