In D.C.: The Big Stories

Well, I’m Inside the Beltway today, with fingers and toes crossed that snow, wind and ice (oh my) won’t prevent me from getting back to NE Ohio this afternoon. And I guess some things transcend geographic location. I managed to chase the belt on the Marriott’s treadmill at 5:30 a.m. with only a few other refugees from parts unknown stirring at that hour. Go figure.

At least the Marriott has figured out that real people need real coffee — and plenty of it — before the sun comes up. During some recent visits here finding a decent cup of brew early a.m. was more difficult than finding a senator willing to commit to the health care public option.

Anyway — what are the primary topics being discussed in my limited world here of meetings and dinners? Well, there is some talk of health care, Afghanistan, jobs, the economy and so on. But from my perspective as a pajama-clad citizen journalist now sitting for a brief time in the power alley of D.C. (around K Street), two stories dominate: Tiger Woods and the college BCS rankings.

I really believed that the Tiger story would just fade away. But no evidence of that happening anytime soon. Yet here’s an interesting perspective — via The Huffington Post. What’s the role of the media — and ultimately this gets to ethics — of the media (traditional and new) in a story like this?

And then there is this story that gets the tongues wagging at dinner. Congress is taking a look at the BCS rankings and playoffs — with a House panel taking to the playing field. Here’s from the Associated Press story:

WASHINGTON — A top official of the Bowl Championship Series says there are more important things for Congress to worry about than pressing for a playoff system for college football.

But lawmakers were taking a crack at it anyway Wednesday. A House panel was to consider a proposal to ban the promotion of a postseason NCAA Division I football game as a national championship unless it’s the outcome of a playoff.

“With everything going on in the country, I can’t believe that Congress is wasting time and spending taxpayers’ money on football,” Bill Hancock, the BCS executive director, said in a phone interview. “We feel strongly that managing of college sports is best left to the people in higher education.”

As I read it, part of the problem is that lawmakers object to calling it a “national championship.”

Maybe they could call it a — public option.

Go figure.


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