Making Sense of a Madcap Weekend

By Terrance Turner

On Saturday night, I was watching CNN’s coverage of the South Carolina primary when I learned that Tom Steyer was dropping out of the race. While surprised, I eventually saw the event in more pragmatic terms. I never expected Steyer to become the nominee, and spending millions of dollars on South Carolina only to finish a disappointing sixth place was all the justification I needed.

I never thought that would be merely Round 1 of a crazy 48-hour news cycle.

I had just gotten home from a family friend’s house (where I’d been watching the Houston Roughnecks game!) when I learned that Pete Buttigieg was dropping out, too. I was stunned. Buttigieg had done well in both Iowa and New Hampshire, and he was the youngest remaining candidate in a field whose graying had been well-documented. I listened to his speech, recorded some portions, and gradually absorbed the news.

It was no more than two hours before I realized that the Lakers/Pelicans game was on, and I tuned in to that. Obviously, with LeBron James on one team and Zion Williamson on another, the draw was undeniable. I had never seen Williamson play before, and March 1 was a good time to watch: Zion scored a career-high 35 points. But what really stood out to me was his incredible size: Zion, who is 19 (!!!), is 6’7″ and reportedly weighs 285 pounds. Watching him next to LeBron and Dwight Howard was wild.

This morning, I learned that Joe Biden was coming to Texas Southern University. Biden was visiting the College of Science and Technology at 12:30, I was told. I was en route to the event when I learned that Sen. Amy Klobuchar was dropping out of the race, too! Not only is Klobuchar suspending her campaign, she apparently will be endorsing Biden tonight at a rally in Dallas.

So, in 48 hours, we have:

  • Tom Steyer dropping out of the presidential race.
  • Biden winning the South Carolina primary.
  • The Houston Roughnecks narrowly winning on Sunday.
  • Pete Buttigieg dropping out.
  • Lakers edge Pelicans in high-powered game.
  • Amy Klobuchar dropping out.
  • Joe Biden making campaign stop in Houston.

I haven’t even MENTIONED the NFL Combine this weekend (which I couldn’t watch because I don’t have NFL Network) or #RHOA. (So interesting how Kenya Moore will call you the C-word, crash your event with a drumline, and talk about your man, your money, your momma AND your child. But when Marc Daly is around she’s as sweet and meek as humble pie. Interesting.)

I will be elaborating further on some of the above items in subsequent entries.

As a journalist, I’ve been giving some thought to “framing”, or the process by which news organizations decide what is important/timely/pressing enough to make the news. Lately, this has been challenging for me; everything seems to be happening at once, and I log on to write about one thing and find out about three more. Just like last Monday, I’m overwhelmed by a variety of surprising and simultaneous stories. Is this a fluke? Or is this my new normal?

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