Missing Alabama teen or Supreme Court nominee.
Is one story more important than the other?
The answer isn't just "yes," it's "hell yes." Even non-journalists know it's not a close call. The Roberts nomination impacts every American; if Roberts is confirmed, he'll likely make news for decades.
Holloway, on the other hand, is the epitome of local news. Outside of her hometown in Alabama, very few people are directly touched by the teen's disappearance.
Fox News obviously doesn't care about valid news judgments, because the cable network has devoted butt-numbing hours to the Holloway case. Greta Van Susteren of Fox has basically remade her show into the Natalee Holloway Extravaganza.
Fox loves it, because Van Susteren's viewership is up -- as if that was the only important consideration. Read what a Fox News weasel has to say about it:
"I don't know what you're doing this weekend, say you're at a beach or in the deli, but what do you think people are going to ask you - what do you think is going to happen with the Roberts nomination next month or what's going on with that story in Aruba?" said Bill Shine, Fox News Channel's vice president of production. "I think my money would be on Aruba."
Fox has decided to give its viewers what they want, not what they need. It's the equivalent of feeding candy to a child, but refusing to serve vegetables because the kid doesn't like them.
We're firm believers in spinach journalism -- giving readers, viewers and listeners what they need to make better-informed decisions. Sometimes they'll bitch because they'd rather have candy. But they'll be healthier after digesting the veggies.