In which our intrepid hero ponders the importance of what his betters tell him.

On September 11, 2001, two planes crashed into the World Trade Center, another into the Pentagon, and yet another came perilously close to parking itself in the White House. That day changed the Western world forever.

Everyone’s eyes glued to the nearest TV screen, the media ran blanket coverage of the tragedy, which was to claim over 3000 lives. Never since that day has such a monumental event occurred; never has the media been moved to beam live coverage for hours on end into the homes of viewers.

Until today.

In case you missed it, Michael Jackson was acquitted on all charges of performing lewd acts upon children and supplying alcohol to minors.

For several hours, I watched the screen, flicking between Nine and Seven, awaiting the verdict. All because the weekday morning lineup on the other channels sucked even worse.

Over the last couple of weeks, white powder has been mailed to the Indonesian embassy, Parliament House and several government departments. These events warranted a handful of two-minute news spots. None of it, to my knowledge, was live.

Let’s compare the two. On the one hand, whole sectors of the Australian government were shut down, and relations with Indonesia have soured to the point that Yudhoyono cannot intervene in the Corby case without risking further political instability. On the other hand, a lot of lawyers and paparazzi got richer, an eccentric musician got to go home, and nobody was cornholed after all.

Except, perhaps, the viewers.