George Graham

Yahoo “News” Provides a Clue to American Public’s Interests

People like me, who watch the news channels on television, read the editorial and opinion pages in newspapers, and browse the Internet for information on the issues of the day, are often taken aback when confronted by the tastes and interests of the vast American public.  I was stunned today, for example, when I saw what the Yahoo editors had chosen as their lead “news” item.

fashionOn a day when the American economy teeters on the brink of a bottomless abyss, the top Yahoo story is “Olympian’s Fashion Mistake.” No kidding. It seems that a young lady named Nastia Liukin (photo at right), who was the “best all-around gymnast” in this summer’s Olympics, had worn an “outdated outfit” in public.

Apparently, Liukin is not the only offender: the Yahoo expose showed fashion gaffes by 11 celebrities,  a few of whom I actually recognized. Oh the shame! The horror! As the headline asked, “What were they thinking?”

The “story” beat out such momentous news as “Signs Your Relationship is in Real Trouble” and “The Five Most Affluent Neighborhoods.”  And it totally eclipsed such low-interest items as President-elect Obama’s choice to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development and a White House announcement that aid might be forthcoming to stave off the collapse of the domestic auto industry.

I assume that Yahoo’s editors know their public better than I do. And their choices for the day’s most important news items are illuminating. Now I know why so many American voters wanted John McCain as their President, and why there are still so many Republicans in Congress.

About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for