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Kansas: What's Up?

Although we always try to keep Fly on the Wall as local as possible, occasionally there's a national media story so important that the Fly-Team would be remiss not to comment. For instance, this week, Judith Miller, one of the world's best-known journalists, told The Topeka Capital-Journal that she was worried about bloggers. (Cue scary, scary music.)

"I'm worried about bloggers," Miller told TCJ reporter Jan Biles. "[A blog post] starts as a rumor and within 24 hours it's repeated as fact."

For hasty readers who never bother with the bylines, Miller is the former New York Times reporter who, prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, cited unnamed "officials" in the Bush administration and various "intelligence experts" who claimed that aluminum tubes intercepted on their way to Iraq were specifically intended for the enrichment of nuclear material and Saddam Hussein had "stepped up" his pursuit of the dreaded WMD. Iraq, she insisted, was embarking on a worldwide hunt for materials to make an atomic bomb. In other words, what started at the Times as hearsay was repeated as fact within 24 hours, and now several years later we're stuck in a war with no exit strategy.

Is this the "death of irony" everybody keeps telling me about?

Naming Rights

Wow. We thought Britney and Justin's breakup spelled the end of headlines connecting Memphis and Ms. Spears. Who could have guessed that news of the pop singer's divorce from uber-dude Kevin Federline would prompt tabloids across the world to rechristen K-Fed as Fed-Ex. Perhaps Fred Smith should consider a new quasi-celebrity spokesperson?

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