There was something strange aboutlast night's report by Channel 4's Rick Sallinger about terror-suspect Najibullah Zazi
. While his counterparts at other local TV-news outlets offered their updates from the comfort of their home studios, Sallinger was actually in New York City, trudging through Zazi's old apartment building and being berated by his former neighbors.
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Once upon a time, this kind of coverage wouldn't have been unusual: Stations and newspapers regularly sent correspondents on the road if the story was big enough -- which the Zazi plot most certainly is. But as documented in a May 2008 Message column, falling profits and shrinking budgets have made long-distance travel a rarity except for the largest of sporting events, like the Super Bowl. Guess that makes Zazi's arraignment today the Super Bowl of terrorism. Hope we win.