It’s a mad mad mad mad world

     Working for a newspaper helps keep me well informed. I like listening to the top news stories at the top of the hour to make sure I’m not missing anything. But the latest round of happenings in the world left my head spinning (and not in a good way). Last week’s breaking news stories unfolded at breakneck speed. Even I couldn’t keep pace and I’m a news junkie.

     The week started with the shocking release of the the Mueller report. After such a long wait the release of the report seemed a bit anti-climactic. The findings weren’t quite what I expected. I think a lot of people were surprised at the conclusions that were reached. People on all sides of the issue had different views of what the findings uncovered (or covered up depending where you stand on the subject). The report’s bottom-line found no evidence of collusion between the Trump administration and Russia. At the same time a lot of individuals in Trump’s camp were involved a lot of shady things. There were multiple arrests, as well as 191 criminal charges against 32 individuals, so let’s keep the celebratory dancing in the White House ballroom down to a minimum. Even though no collusion was found, there was certainly much confusion surrounding the results of the report. I’m happy our president is not a Russian operative. CNN will have to come up with another story to occupy their newly acquired free time.

     While my head was still reeling from the Mueller report, I learned that all charges were dropped in the hate crime case of actor Jussie Smollett. Once again, the news took a surprisingly unexpected turn. This seemed like an open and shut case of a staged racially motivated attack to raise the profile of a lesser known celebrity. The fact that the original allegations almost triggered a race war elevated the story to the national stage. Chicago’s police commissioner and the city’s mayor had some harsh words regarding the damage done to their struggling city. To hear that charges were dropped and the case was sealed so no one can access the findings only adds to thoughts cover-ups and conspiracy theories. The only thing proven was the fact that some people are above the law.

     Speaking of above the law, the shocking bribery charges filed against actress Lori Loughlin of Full House and Desperate Housewife’s Felicity Huffman was another news story I never expected. These two wealthy high-profile actresses are charged with paying bribe money so their children could gain entrance into top tier colleges they were scholastically unqualified for. The case involves well-to-do parents who used their assets to insure their children’s acceptance into the best schools. Some were admitted on scholarships for sports they never played. Others were admitted for academic achievements on tests they never took. I’m not surprised this practice goes on among super-wealthy elitists. I am surprised criminal charges were filed. I feel badly for hard working students who lost a seat at a school they wanted to attend because some rich parent paid for their unqualified child to steal an open slot. Because I did the right thing, I’ll be helping my hard-working child pay back his student loans well into my retirement. Best of luck at your trials, Ms. Loughlin and Ms. Huffman. I hear Orange is the New Black.

     I didn’t get to dwell on the College-gate scandal for long because the Bob Kraft story resurfaced when he rejected a plea deal. For some reason Mr. Kraft wants his illegal prostitution solicitation case to go to trial. Wait, what? I guess proclaiming your innocence despite overwhelming evidence is what people do these days. It’s not an open and shut case even with reported existence of a video tape of the crime. Maybe the New England Patriot’s owner is hoping no one in their right mind will want to see the footage. I can hear the jury now saying, “No thanks. We’ll pass.”

     Pushing Bob Kraft off the front page was the one-two punch of Gronk’s retiring from the New England Patriots and reported stories of a ghost in the aisles of Market Basket in Wilmington. At first I didn’t believe either story. Upon further reflection, I can see Gronk leaving the NFL for Hollywood or the WWE. He’s practically there already. And after grocery shopping in a few Market Baskets and seeing items fall off the shelves in various aisles as I walk by, I think there may be something to the ghostly sightings. Sounds like a perfect case for the Scooby-Doo gang to investigate.

     Because the 24-hour news cycle unfolds at such a fast pace, these stories have likely already been replaced by even more jaw-dropping events. In a world gone mad, it’s only a matter of time before we see security footage of another alligator attacking a family in their backyard swimming pool or a group of black bears playing on a swing-set in someone’s backyard. This stuff never gets old. I guess that’s why they call it “News”.


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