I’m in the news business. I get up at 2:30 every morning, in to work by 4 to scour the wires and the web and on the air at 5. There are four newscasts an hour, with lots of newsy tidbits in between.
Then there is the news that goes longer than thirty seconds. That’s called “in-depth” news.
I heard you laughing just then.
What qualifies as news is determined by very few people, really. In any given newsroom, there are reporters pitching story ideas, producers saying “yes” to this idea and “no” to that one, news directors mediating disputes between the first two groups.
Some stories are so obvious, no one would argue, but those are more and more in the minority. Not even a presidential news conference falls in this category any more. I remember when a drive-by shooting ceased to be news unless someone was wounded. There is simply too much information in the world, too much that may be relevant to your life, that may be interesting.
Very little is undisputed news. Every story needs an advocate, someone who says, “This is important. Listen to this.”
When we gathered for the taping of “A Woman’s View” last week, I had a sheet full of topics to discuss. They were all newsworthy: allegations of sexual harassment against presidential candidate Herman Cain, the nation’s poverty rate reaching one in fifteen Americans, and the Madoff interview on “60 Minutes.” Which brings me (after too much meandering) to the news of this column.
One of panelists on the show was Anne Tuttle-Brown, a beauty expert with www.dressingyourtruth.com. Before we got in the elevator to ride up to the booth where we tape the show, she said, “I have news.”
I waited, along with Pamela Atkinson, special advisor to Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, and Shauna Scott-Bellacomo, president of Utah Women’s Lobby.
“I’m expecting,” Anne said quietly, but not so quietly that we didn’t hear.
We erupted with congratulations. Whatever we had been thinking about the moment before was gone. Wherever our spirits were, they were gone. We came immediately to that moment to fully embrace our sister who had just shared the most joyous news a person can share.
“I am going to have a baby.”
This is simply the most relevant and momentous news on earth. When a woman shares it with you, she blesses you with such grace, taking you out of pettiness and judgment (if you happened to be there), and bringing you right back to the most meaningful moment in life.
It is Anne’s first baby. “I used to see ultrasound pictures on Facebook and think, ‘That is just a fuzzy black-and-white picture. Cute, I guess,’” she told us. “Now I see it and think, ‘That’s a life inside me.’”
I went there immediately: Baby’s first ultrasound. My Ethan looked like a foggy peanut. I floated that day from LDS Hospital to a Macey’s grocery store in Orem to do a remote broadcast for KSL. It was December. There were Christmas decorations everywhere and a young girl in a black velvet skirt was playing the piano just as you entered the store. I remember showing the ultrasound photograph to complete strangers who stopped by the KSL booth to say “hello” or win prizes.
“Want to see the baby?” I pestered them. They looked at me patiently before smiling at the murky photo politely, then walking away whispering to each other.
We discussed so many newsworthy topics this week on “A Woman’s View.” Insightful opinions were shared, and many of them would have made for a thought-provoking column. But from the moment I heard, “I’m having a baby,” I knew it was the only thing I wanted to tell you. I hope Anne forgives me for making her private news so public. I just thought we all needed to know.
A baby is coming.