What a difference a month can make. Literally.
It was a month ago when the buzz making the round in the town of big bison focused on a phone call in the wee hours to Village Board President Jeff Braiman from deposed trustee Lisa Stone about the status of the village’s web site.
Shortly after that incident, an item appeared in the Pioneer Countryside that Stone had some issues at a local eatery.
I was asked numerous times if I was going to blog about it.
And each time the answer was simple. No.
Granted, it would have been yet and other opportunity to jab at Buffalo Grove’s easiest target. But at this point, the question is why? Stone is (brace yourself) just another pothole down the highway of suburban life – or just about any place for that matter.
What set her apart originally was her stint on the Village Board the put her in “public figure” and “public official” status. Since being jettisoned out of the world of public service, she maintained a status as a “public figure” thanks to her diatribes at Village Board meetings.
But comments on media sites, Facebook postings, tweets and other electronic forums doesn’t make someone a public figure. When, however, a public official is victimized, odds are it will become “news” -- especially when a report is filed with the police. So the Braiman-Stone cocktail can become an intoxicating news story, which it did when Stone, police reports say, called Braiman at 2:45 a.m. because the village website was down. Tom foolery at its best, and given it that it involved the Village Board president, it became news.
So what’s the driving force that makes something “news”?
Not Donald Driver, not drunken drivers, and not rush-hour drivers.
News drivers, 10 of them -- importance, timeliness, proximity, magnitude, prominence, conflict, human interest, change relevance, and unusualness.
You can probably go through the list and say that, well, golly gee, some people (guess who?) fit a lot of those categories so it is news. It may be, but it has become old news. Yes, there has been conflict and just a tad (do you think) of unusualness has been involved. Beyond that, it has become pointless.
Comedians will tell you that when a joke does not work, don’t keep retelling it or force it because, as it has been said, you can put lipstick on something---but it’s still what it is. Yes, I’ve altered the phrase to avoid anyone thinking I was calling them a pig. That wouldn’t be kosher.
Animals aside, the reality is this -- after a while some news, and some newsmakers, become old news. And old news, like old garbage, just isn’t worth much.