Scott Hardie | July 2, 2002
I'm so happy for Steve Fossett that he finally completed one of his many attempts to circumnavigate the globe solo in a hot-air balloon... because I never have to hear about it again. Was I the only person getting sick of this guy?

K. R. | July 2, 2002
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Scott Hardie | July 3, 2002
Paul Harris is annoyed by him too. The second half of the article goes off on a tangent, but the first half is a great rip on Fossett.

Scott Hardie | March 1, 2005


Anna Gregoline | March 1, 2005

Kris Weberg | March 1, 2005
Because clearly, ballooning is the key to our future.

Amy Austin | March 1, 2005
Sounds like the last time you're ever going to hear about Mr. Fossett is on the last anniversary of his death that you'll still be around to hear... ;DDD

Scott Hardie | March 4, 2005
I'm so tired of hearing about him! And what sickens me is that when I go to rate the story a "1" on Yahoo, trying in my own tiny way to keep other people from having to read about him, I see that the average vote is something like 4.04 out of 5. People actually want to hear more about this arrogant, self-promoting, rich white guy setting records just to get his name in the news? Who gives a shit?!

Kris Weberg | March 4, 2005
Actually, if you check out Yahoo! News in general, serious stories are downrated and fluff pieces are up-rated. This may also explain why sitcoms and hour-long dramas consistently beat the news in TV ratings.

Honestly, I think most people don't want serious news. They want sensational stories, glitzy presentation, and tabloid fodder. News, online and otherwise, has been made into more and more of an entertainment industry.

Think about how much top anchors are paid -- given the budget of the average news show or network, guess where that cash comes from? Yep, from investigative reporting, etc. Turns out that pretty faces on the screen do better than hard facts. Onlien news sources, and their public ratings systems, can't really be blamed for reflecting what the bulk of news consumers have wanted for decades now.

Anna Gregoline | March 4, 2005
I don't watch the news because it's all doom and gloom. Just what I want to see before going to bed! A five second story about a kitten caught in a tree isn't going to cheer me up after an hour of rapes and murders.

I read my news, which allows me to pick and choose what I read. I also just hate the glibness and cheesiness of television news. And the unbelievable bias. It's no wonder our country is so confused.

That said, I'm sure most Americans don't intake any news at all.

Kris Weberg | March 4, 2005
I agree on the doom-and-gloom element of the news, but I think that's also the sensationalism at work. Only the really extreme moments make it, and fear and grotesque tragedy are pretty extreme.

It's the same formula behind slasher flicks and action blockbusters, but applied to reporting on the real world. You get the horrifying bloodshed, the startling revelations, and the big explosions, and then some tacked-on "awww" moment or "funny" human interest bit.

And yes, it's all crap. I'm not sure which way the news is biased these days, though, except that it's biased towards laziness and lowest-common-denominator coverage.

Aaron Shurtleff | March 4, 2005
I don't think the bias in reporting news today is confined to television, by any means! I've read the same story in a couple different newspapers, and you'd think you were hearing about two different stories sometimes. I sometimes think print is worse, because you lose that nuance that exists when something is spoken. Of course, the same thing happens when a newscaster reads a quote instead of playing the quote being said by the person.

Stupid bias! Ha!

And, I am ashamed to admit, but until this started, I had no idea who Steve Fossett was. But, I'm on board with the "Who cares?!" squad now!! :)

Patrick Little | March 4, 2005
All News is biased. Biased toward sales.

Scott Hardie | March 4, 2005
Well, voting on Yahoo news is extremely biased, especially towards anything with sex in it. Most of the times when I visit their Most Popular news page (link) it's all about sex this and nudity that, when it's not about cute fuzzy animals. (Of course, I go to make my point today, and there's not a single sex-related story on there. Sigh.)

Anyway, Steve Fossett doesn't have a thing to do with sex or cute fuzzy animals, so I don't know why in the hell people are rating that story so high. He's in it for himself, people! It's not like we're somehow ennobled as a people when he completes his trips, like with the first man on the moon. This is just one self-centered, rich jerk trying to make the record books. I have no idea whatsoever why anybody would care.

Jackie Mason | March 5, 2005
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Amy Austin | March 5, 2005
I've read the same story in a couple different newspapers, and you'd think you were hearing about two different stories sometimes.

I know just what you mean, Aaron -- I found this to be particularly glaring when that story about Bush rescuing his SS guy from the Chilean president's entourage came out... in one story, he was made to look like a swaggering, pompous ass, and in another like one cool dude... both John Wayne style. I hadn't even seen the video clip before reading about it, and when I did, I thought both write-ups were ridiculously exaggerated and full of speculation -- it was absurd!!!

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