08/06/2007 02:04 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

The Template Rules

You can't turn on cable news today without seeing followup stories on the Minneapolis bridge collapse. The most interesting, to me, was on CNN, a fairly long piece on why certain projects, like bridge repairs, don't get funded, while others--like big highways in the districts of key Congresspersons--do. It's interesting to me, partly, because I don't recall CNN ever doing a similar story about how Army Corps of Engineers projects get funded, or prioritized, in the wake of the flooding disaster in New Orleans. My theory: that story, the coverage of which CNN still points to with pride, was grounded in the erroneous template of a "natural disaster". Editors at CNN and elsewhere have dismissed the Corps story as "too complicated" or "inside baseball", but the reality is doing that story would require correcting the template. And that they're not going to do....just yet.