Home > media > And John Cameron Swayze Wept

And John Cameron Swayze Wept

Tuesday, May 1, 2007, 18:46 EST Leave a comment Go to comments

There’s been lots to blog about in the last few weeks, from the reintroduction of ERA to the Iraq war to the Supreme Court’s Partial Birth Abortion Ban decision. I’ll get to all that eventually.

For now, this just in from the satirical news site, The Onion:

Knut Steadily Getting Less Cute

It’s a tragic fact of life. Celebrity polar bear cub Knut, now almost five months old, is gradually mutating from a fluffy porridge-lapping cub into a heavy bruiser with a penchant for meat off the bone. But the visitors are still flocking to see him.

Knut’s days of extreme cuteness are numbered now that he has acquired a markedly longer snout and weighs a chubby 17 kilograms (37 pounds), twice as much as when he first appeared before an adoring public five weeks ago.

But wait, that isn’t satire at all. It’s a real “news” story from the German news web site Spiegel.

Knut, for those not attuned to the international zoo scene, is a polar bear cub born at the Berlin Zoo last December. The birth and survival of polar bears in captivity is rare enough to make this, indeed, a serious news story, just as it was in my corner of the world when cubs were born at the New England Science Center in the 1970s. Knut was indeed adorable, as babies generally are, and he has captured the attention and affection of animal lovers everywhere. Previous Spiegel coverage was a mixture of news and a nod to the quasi-cult following the cub has engendered. But this is the first one that has crossed the line into the realm of fluff.

To paraphrase Linda Ellerbee, so it goes in today’s hybrid news/entertainment media.

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