Saturday, June 28, 2008

THE STORY OF 'NO STORY'

11-Year-Old Is Left Unattended on School Bus
By Sopan Joshi Washington Post Staff Writer Friday, June 27, 2008; B03
An 11-year-old boy stayed unattended on a bus operated by D.C. public schools for about two hours Wednesday after the driver and an attendant, who delivered other children to school, failed to notice him.
Good god, another instance of the abuse of children in the hands of ruthless and intolerably insensitive public servants. When will the agony stop?
The boy, who apparently had fallen asleep, woke up in a bus parking lot on New York Avenue NE. He opened the bus door and was then driven to his school, the High Road School on Kansas Avenue NE, by another school bus driver.
Apparently, neither the first driver nor the attendant realized that he boy had not disembarked at the school, nor did they check the bus before parking it. The bus transported only four children, including the boy.
The driver apologized to the boy's mother.
The Washington Post thinks there's a story here? Ignoring the ruthless skullduggery that put us in an economic dumper, WaPo writes about a perfectly capable eleven year-old kid who fell asleep, solved his own problem and made a major news story by doing it.
Congress fiddles while the republic burns and WaPo fails to notice. Midst the continuing carnage in Iraq, they write about an Iraqi restaurant reopening and how the 'Restaurant's revival signals the city's slow return to normalcy.'
Normalcy, dear managing-editor, is defined by an 11 year-old getting off a school bus by himself. But now the story takes a more sinister turn . . .
The boy's mother, Evelyn Sykes, was at the school for a meeting with teachers when her son was driven there a few minutes after 11 a.m. As she was driving the child home, Sykes said she heard him say he never wanted to go to school again because he was scared. She took him to Children's National Medical Center, where a physician told her that the child had a panic attack.
Many mothers, perhaps even most mothers, would do a little investigative journalism before whipping the old SUV over to the hospital. Hospitals generally have other things to do, but this mom is no more investigative journalist than Sopan Joshi, who scribbled up this story for the Post.
Antonin Scalia has guaranteed that D.C. residents will continue to kill one another at a record rate and (so far as I know) has apologized to no one's mom.
And so, closing foreign offices and firing or early-retiring ever more newsroom staff, the Washington Post slumps into the future furtively, with its coat-collar appropriately turned up against the chill of dumbing-down their readers. A once decent, if not great, newspaper has destroyed itself in the interest of survival.