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The 'A' Word, cont.

A couple weeks ago, I argued that the press should pipe down about fears for Barack Obama's safety unless there was something new and significant to report.

So much for that. Instead, coverage of said fears actually seems to have increased. The AP wrote about black voters' worries. The Star-Telegram reported, in a piece that got prominent play on the Drudge Report, that the Secret Service had ordered Dallas police to stop screening for weapons an hour before Obama's recent appearance at Reunion Arena. And today, the New York Times discusses at length fears that what happened to Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King might happen to Obama as well.

Of the three, only the Star-Telegram story strikes me as worth writing, since what happened in Dallas raises real concerns about just how effective Obama's Secret Service protection is. In contrast, the AP and Times stories don't do much more than rehash stuff we already know (although the Times does tell us that Obama's Secret Service nickname is "Renegade," and that he and his Secret Service handlers regularly play basketball together).

In one significant respect, though, the AP and Times stories differ from previous coverage: they actually focus specificially on this issue rather than treating it as a subtopic. If we're lucky, major news outlets will allow themselves one big story on the topic and then leave it alone.

One more thing: I'm fully aware that, in writing about the subject when and how I did, I may actually have helped pave the way for subsequent flurry of stories.

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