The NFL draft, the Royal Wedding or Obama’s birth certificate: Which says the worst about our nation?

Upon releasing his birth certificate yesterday, President Barack Obama spoke eloquently about the need to move beyond trivial sideshows and concentrate on the real problems that plague us. Of course, this speech was followed by hours of incessant coverage of the Birther issue, tomorrow’s Royal Wedding and tonight’s NFL draft, so something tells us we haven’t really gotten the message!

But now that we’ve accepted our limitations, it’s time to look inwards: Which distraction says the worst about us as a nation?

The Birther Issue

There are some people in the country who don’t quite believe the President was born in the U.S. And so because of the constant crowing from these people, the President of the United States was forced to release his birth certificate yesterday, as if he had something to prove. This utterly manufactured "controversy" was then covered incessantly by a cowardly media too afraid of charges of ‘bias’ to state outright that Birthers were misguided and wrong.We could go on, but Baratunde Thurston said it better than we ever could: "We have all been debased by this incident."

The Royal Wedding

Yes, yes, we get it: It’s a fairy tale, one that makes you believe in true love and that dreams do come true. But let’s take a step back. Tomorrow morning, scores of Americans will wake up early in the morning to watch the wedding of two people they have never met, the bride a slightly boring upper-middle-class striver, the groom the latest in a long line of hereditary aristocrats imported from Germany and given a lavish lifestyle in return for doing nothing in particular.  And yet, despite the fact that the effect of this union on American lives will be effectively zilch, they will do this — happily!

The NFL Draft

Even in normal years, the NFL Draft is emblematic of everything that’s wrong with modern football coverage: The emphasis on narratives, "character" and talent superseding any talk of strategy or scheme fit, all from people who only have the slightest grasp of what they are talking about. (Metro fully admits that we are part of the problem, and that we sort of love it.) But with next year’s season in doubt due to labor troubles, tonight’s draft will be a bizarre charade: NFL owners smiling happily and shaking the hands of college players who they will literally be trying to lock out tomorrow. "We’re so glad to have you on our team! Now go join organized team activities while we battle in court to stop you from doing exactly that."

Readers, which do you think reflects most poorly on our nation?


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