That's the amount of coverage the four largest Sunday talkers ("Fox News Sunday," ABC’s "This Week," NBC’s "Meet The Press," and CBS’ "Face The Nation") gave to the crisis of the long term unemployment extension that ran out right after Christmas. From that , you can only draw one conclusion: unemployment is no longer a problem.
Who's going to break this joyous news to the 1.3 million unemployed who've had their benefits cut? Or the additional 3 million family members of this socio-economic formerly depressed group? Certainly not the public service shows whose responsibility it is to report and examine such pressing issues.
Last Sunday I took these chat fests to task over their not mentioning anything about the West Virginia water poisoning. This week they've gone to, as a member of Chris Christie's inner circle, David Waldman reported, "radio silence."
Fortunately, I was able to grab a screen shot of the CNN talker just before camera's began to roll. That's Candy Crowley on the right.
To the defense of the talk shows, they did have a lot to cover. And certainly who can argue that the future of 4.5 million Americans potentially starving, living without heat or shelter could possibly be as important as Chris Christie possibly blocking the George Washington Bridge, Obama's allowing us to be spied on, Edward Snowden being accused by right wingers of working for the Russians, and Robert Gates' new book where he confesses to being a borderline alcoholic having to knock back a stiff one every night to deal with the pressures of his job?
Priorities are important. But where does the well-being of fellow Americans rate? Certainly on Sunday public service qualifying shows who have a responsibility by law to provide public service information, the plight of the long-term unemployment barrier is quite insignificant.
Or maybe the truth is that it's these shows that are not significant. You could make that argument easily based on what they fail to report, more than what they do cover.