Endless summer

Is it too early to look back at the Summer of 2009? No matter, I have a piece up now searching for those elusive summer doldrums in the news business.

The August recess may be around the corner, but wise Washingtonians should stay close to the phones: The Summer of Nonstop News shows no signs of slowing down.

Already this summer, there’s been a series of scandals: Sen. John Ensign skirts blackmail, admits affair! Gov. Mark Sanford reveals Argentine lover! Sarah Palin bolts! Harvard’s Henry Louis Gates Jr. arrested — at his own home!

There’s been much sadness: Michael Jackson, Walter Cronkite, Robert McNamara, Farrah Fawcett and a deadly Metro crash.

Plus plenty of D.C.-style suspense: Will Congress make the health care deadline? Can Iran calm outraged throngs of voters? Who would dare vote against Sonia Sotomayor?

Blame it on climate change, but according to Rick Stengel, managing editor of Time, the culprits go hand in hand: Because technology has made the news so accessible, the public’s appetite has only grown. “The doldrums don’t exist anymore. People don’t tune out anymore,” he said.

Sam Feist, CNN’s political director and vice president of Washington-based programming, acknowledged the run of unexpected stories breaking in June and July. “Overall,” Feist said, “I think it’s a myth that summertime is slow — even in Washington.”

Rest is here.

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