Object permanence #1
Instead of talking about important things, like the President's 9/11 testimony or the administration's reckless economic management, the mainstream media allowed itself to be distracted by a discussion of whether the ribbons John Kerry threw were his own.
See, for example, this.
When I was an undergraduate, my journalism professor talked about the agenda-setting power of the media. The media get to use our airwaves for free, and in the last twenty years they seem to have gotten their public service ethic mixed up in partisanship, both to the right and to the left. If the media allow themselves to be distracted by phony controversies, the rest of the country gets taken along for the ride.
This is the object permanence problem.