Back in mid-July, when New York City suffered through seven consecutive days an entire week! of 90-degree-plus high temperatures, a report on National Public Radio disclosed that some New Yorkers were taking dramatic measures: showering right before bed and letting the kids play in sprinklers.
As someone who grew up in Houston before air-conditioning was common and who now lives in St. Louis, I thought, "Wow. What courage. What ingenuity. What pluck."
I thought, "Why is this on the national news? So what? It's hot in New York. People in hotter parts of the country (which is to say most of them) know what to do when the weather gets hot. You just sound stupid."
Then again, I work for a newspaper that prints "hot weather tips" like "eat light, cool, easily digested meals, wear a hat and dress in loose, lightweight and light-colored clothes made of natural fibers, limit activity in the middle of the day, bathe or shower frequently in cool water."
I'm all for public service, but who reads those lists? "Hey, Earl. Hold off on the sweatshirt. It says here you should take a bath in cool water and put on a hat and some light-weight clothes made of natural fibers."
It gets hot. You deal with it. Not in New York. New York shares it with the rest of America.
New York is a special place. It contains approximately 90 percent of the nation's opinion-makers. More important, it contains the bosses of those opinion-makers.
Key rule of journalism: News increases in importance in direct proportion to its proximity to the editor affected. If an editor hits a pothole on the way into work, be prepared to write a pothole story.
If people are hot in New York, you'll hear about it in Okmulgee, Okla. If it snows a foot in Omaha, Neb., it's winter. If it snows a foot in New York, it is a cataclysm. This is true not only in news and weather, but especially in sports.
The New York Yankees are the favorite baseball team of most opinion-shapers, so you hear way more about the New York Yankees than the other 29 teams in Major League Baseball. The only exceptions are the New York Mets, in the infrequent years when they are good, and the Boston Red Sox, who are the blood-rivals of the Yankees and the second-favorite team in the East Coast megalopolis.
It makes no difference if the Yankees are just slightly better than a . …