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Coverage of Oil Spill Has Been Good, Getting Better

Has the media provided enough coverage of the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico?

For my part I believe the amount of coverage, which has been significant, has been weighted properly, yes. The loss of human life, the potentially devastating effect on the marine life and the coastline, and the numbing economic impact makes it a blockbuster story.

And, of course, there are the residual political implications that the partisan media will dine on for months -- maybe even years. Is this Obama's Katrina? [sigh]

As to the coverage itself, I would have preferred it to be a little less reactive, and more proactive with more emphasis on the critical, investigative reporting.

But that's nitpicking. There are also signs the press is working its way to the front of this story as it learns more about it, and assigns more resources to its coverage.

So I was heartened, then, to discover that The Pew Research Center produced a poll last week in its latest "News Interest Index" installment, that the public, indeed, has shown more interest in this story than any other, and by a large margin.

I was downright shocked to learn that in this same report, the amount of coverage actually fell a bit short of the public's demand to learn more about this unfolding disaster.

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Gibbs Responds To 'Frustration' With Press

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs says that the notion that the administration has done nothing about the oil spill in the Gulf is wrong. "We were there immediately," Gibbs said on "Face the Nation."

"I think if you look back at what happened in Katrina, the government wasn't there to respond to what was happening," Gibbs said. "That quite frankly was the problem. Even tracking the hurricane for days and knowing fairly precisely where it was going to hit, I think the difference in this case is we were there immediately. We have been there ever since. Thad Allen is directing our response as the national incident commander. There are people on the ground. There are thousands of people working even as we speak to figure out a way to plug this hole and to deal with the spread of this oil."

Health Care Coverage: Tastes Great, Less Filling

I associate with what I like to think of as a fairly informed crowd. Most of these folks are up to date, and take great interest in the important issues of the day. Some of them even nudge up against brilliance when discussing current affairs.

Still, I doubt I'll offend any of my smart and sort-of-smart family and friends when I venture that there isn't a one of 'em that could give you anything resembling specifics on about half of what ended up in the health-care reform legislation that passed the House over the weekend.

I couldn't.

I'll bet you every single one of them, however, could come within a vote or two of telling you what the final tally was.

I can.

The Democrats passed the bill, 219-212, and something referred to as a companion bill that essentially tweaks the original piece of legislation was passed on the heels of the original, 220-211.

I suggest you not be impressed by that.

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Tiger's Diabolical Masters (Media) Plan

I am not sure how many former White House press secretaries, or people who are generally in a position to know but can't speak for Tiger Woods, vetted this release Tuesday, but I tend to believe at least 25 percent of it came from Tiger himself.

The big news in the highly sanitized, five-paragraph announcement is that Woods will be returning to competitive golf at next month's Masters tournament.

This caught nobody off guard because several people in a position to know, but in no position to use their names when leaking information to the Associated Press, have indicated this is what Tiger would do.

I don't know why I am at all surprised that Woods would go into the first-person mode with a release that Ari Fleischer's group mostly typed, entirely edited, and completely reeks of cow manure.

I'd just suggest that if Tiger is really intent on wandering the path of self-destruction and deceit so many big-time athletes and politicians past and present (Bill Clinton comes to mind in this case) have taken, he'd be wise to do so with both boots pulled up high to his hips.

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Kennedy Beats the Despicable Press

If it makes you feel any better, Mr. Kennedy, a lot of folks that inhabit what passes for the press corps these days are having a rough time of it, too -- not feeling so darn despicable and all, I mean.

Most of us don't even know who, or what, we are anymore, Pat. I can call you Pat, right? After all , this is a small, despicable, setting -- you know the kind of place.

Between you and me, from here it just seems like the press is becoming an ever-expanding group of attention-seekers armed with the latest $99 bit of pocket technological just waiting to catch folks in positions of authority like you making morons out of yourselves.

Oops, sorry, that just kind of slipped out. My emotions got the best of me.

Kind of like they did for you yesterday when your dignified Kennedy jowls got off on that little rant on the House floor about how misguided and despicable the press was and all.

Lucky there were only two alleged press people watching your act, or this might have become a really big deal. And are you sure they were from the bona fide press? How did you know? They're tough to identify these days ...

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