Government scandals that kill people are more important than Michael Vick or the latest rehab stint. I dont think saying that is a subjective opinion. And if each of those stories gets the same coverage, in my eyes, something is wrong. In reality, they do not get the same coverage. They get alot more in depth with Vick, and I'm betting he got alot more news alerts than the Katrina trailers. Vick is just a talking point. so the question asked is is Vick getting too much attention, the answers yeah, but thats typical and it shouldnt be.
There's a reason they're giving Vick attention and I think it serves an important purpose: I think it is gettting us to engage in a discussion of policy
(among other things). The feds indicted him. The media's making an example of it. Regardless of what happens from here, he's a "fall-guy" of sorts. The news articles aren't breaking down the facts and matching them to the law piece-by-piece... instead, they're showing us this "example" of dog-fighting charges placed against a nat'l icon, and getting us to provide/consider the more metaphysical components of this story. I would think that in at least some way, our reaction (as expressed through the media) is going to impact the law as it is applied in the future. (similar situation with political corruption scandals, etc...) This might sound like too strong of a statement, but I think it makes sense--- if you disagree, I'd like to see why...
Now, as to the seriousness of the issue I guess I half-way concede. There is certainly more newsworthy content with less coverage, and our need to SELL the news by emotional appeal, etc. can backfire in this respect. On the flip-side, I think the media is taking an interest in this particular sub-culture that has not previously received much attention (and they are now using Vick to sell it), and while they're stirring things up btw various interest groups, law enforcement agencies, scholars, etc... they ARE bringing about some discourse. Also, probably another theme they're onto in addition to dogfighting is "professional sports + gambling..."