The Michael Vick saga, when news isn't fit to print

Like just about everyone else, we’ve been following Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick’s trials and tribulations in the FBI dog-fighting probe. So far, we’ve purposefully stayed away from commenting on the proceedings, because we’re sure you’ve already been inundated with all forms of new details and forceful opinions on Vick and this story on an hourly basis.

But, at this stage, the media coverage itself is something we wanted to specifically focus on, because since the beginning we’ve felt that the reporting of this on-going story has been lacking some serious perspective. The collective media, it seems, has gathered around this story like a pack of hungry wolves chomping at the bit for the next morsel of information to trickle out through sources within the Falcons, the NFL, FBI, Michael Vick’s family, his neighbor’s cousin and his college roommate’s uncle, twice removed. Through all of this “reporting” by every news source from The New York Times to the New Virginian the story has become larger than life, significantly larger than it ever needed to be, or should have been.

The grizzly details of this case are horrible and everyone involved should be punished – Vick deserves every hour, day, week, month and year of jail time he gets as a result of his boneheaded and malicious acts. But, how did Vick’s actions become bigger news than the charges faced by former NFL player Rae Carruth, who had a hand in murdering his girlfriend in cold blood? How is dog-fighting a more heinous crime than the murder charges that were facing former New Jersey Net Jayson Williams or current Baltimore Raven Ray Lewis? What about former Chicago Bear Tank Johnson facing gun possession and assault charges? Or the case of current Tennessee Titan Pacman Jones, where a bar patron was left paralyzed stemming from an incident involving the cornerback? The list goes on. The media attention in these cases were dwarfed in comparison to the coverage of the Michael Vick dog-fighting trail. Is dog-fighting, however gruesome the details, more gruesome and shocking than murdering a human being?

Perhaps it’s because Vick has, or is about to be labeled guilty, in court, but it finally seems like the media is finding some time to step back from the feeding frenzy and gain some much needed perspective -- something that should have happened as soon as this news first broke. Sports radio and some newspaper stories are starting to really get to the heart of a serious problem with today’s media, and really the general populace, in identifying the most important, not the most sensational, stories. It seems the mainstream media is losing the ability to identify what matters most in news, and that is a huge problem.

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