Why must I care that Sen. Whitehouse's son was arrested?

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse's son Alexander, 19, has been arrested for driving under the influence. And already, talk radio and the Rhode Island Internet is aflame.

It is, of course, just the latest tale of a son of the powerful caught doing something stupid. There was Governor Chafee's son, Caleb, who allegedly hosted a party at the family's Exeter home that involved alcohol. There was former state Democratic Party chairman Bill Lynch's son, Jarred, who had his license suspended after driving under the influence.

And...none of it matters. These arrests tell us literally nothing that matters about Rhode Island's politically powerful.

Now, show me an abuse of that power and I'm interested; the Jarred Lynch case, originally dropped by a special prosecutor with ties to the Democratic Party, raised some interesting questions. But otherwise, this is the stuff of gossip pages.

But I don't mean this as just another tiresome sermon about how low the Rhode Island media has stooped - although it is certainly that. I'm simply asking for a little better placement.

I like a little gossip as much as the next guy. We just need a genuine gossip column. That we lack such a thing, in a state like Rhode Island, is a little appalling; another sign of just how hopelessly drab the local mediascape is.


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