|What a Weird Week in America
Categories: Latest News
Posted: January 21, 2013
by Ted Greenberg
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Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Our country celebrates the Civil Rights leader’s life and accomplishments by giving most people — and governmental offices — a much deserved day off. I know I tendThere’s nothing that screams funny about Dr. King’s life. He is a hero to millions for taking up the struggle for equal rights for African-American citizens and paying with his life in Memphis nearly 45 years ago.
And, later today, Barack Obama will be sworn in for his second term as President of the United States of America. The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir will help make the occasion festive. Nearly 1 million Americans are expected to witness the ceremony. Again, another event that is more serious in nature.
Still this past week has felt like an episode of the Twilight Zone.On Wednesday, a Deadspin.com article about a girlfriend hoax went viral in the most explosive way. Within a day, even people with a passing knowledge of college football, had heard of Manti Te’o (pictured below) and his supposed deceased girlfriend. A 22-year-old’s love life — or lack thereof — had vaulted to THE news story of the week. And, it’s just been announced that Te’o and his family have one of those sit-down, cathartic interviews lined up with Katie Couric. The Heisman Trophy winner from Notre Dame is the only athlete making headlines for NOT sleeping with someone. Talk about an amazing PR strategy. This never happens. It is hard to get America this interested in things you’ve not done.
Whereas the other major sports news story had one of the most notorious athletes in the world — Lance Armstrong — finally admitting to what the world already knew. He cheated to win his seven Tour de France titles in a row. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey — a two-parter — Armstrong hoped to begin rehabbing his image for something he’s done. While Americans may forgive him for cheating, it’s hard to imagine he’ll get a pass for intimidating and hurting the lives of former teammates and other cyclists, who had the ‘audacity’ to suggest back in the day that Lance had done EPO and other performance enhancing drugs. Look, I would need something to help me ride up those hills in the French mountains. The Tour de France course is pretty inhuman. And Armstrong’s work on behalf of cancer patients through his work at the foundation he created and recently left — Livestrong — is admirable. But, as the Daily News’ Mike Lupica points out: being a blowhard is NEVER in style.
What to make of our week? MLK Jr., President Obama, Manti Te’o and Lance Armstrong. One man was gunned down because of his work on behalf of striking sanitation workers in Memphis, Tennessee. We celebrate his enduring legacy today. Another will be publicly sworn into the most powerful office in the world. And two athletes make major headlines — one for what he did and the other for what he didn’t. Our country is a strange, but fascinating place. I’m sure in a days time or two, another Kardashian will be pregnant, and we’ll forget about everyone else.