Julian E. Zelizer
Special to CNN
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/OPINION/06/21/zelizer.congressional.hearings/tzleft.julian.zelizer.jroemer.jpg caption="Zelizer: Ability of congressional committees to shine a light on wrongdoing has diminished" width=300 height=169]
At my local gym Thursday, one of the television sets showed the live CNN broadcast of Rep. Henry Waxman questioning BP CEO Tony Hayward about how so much could have gone wrong.
The problem was, most people at the gym weren't watching. Some of them were tuned in to the other television sets on the wall that broadcast the World Cup. Yet others had their eyes glued to the music video stations that play continuously throughout the day near the Nautilus machines.
The runners on the treadmills had their eyes on the small television monitors on their equipment, each set on the particular show that interested them - in most cases, not news channels. Near the coffee bar, two men spoke to each other as each stared down at their Blackberries, oblivious to the hearings showing right over their head.
Filed under: Opinion
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