Scooped again

I was fully prepared to read the entire paper today. It’s my birthday, and I thought that if anything important (or, considering our daily Argus content, something incredibly unimportant) happens, I’d better be aware of it.

Unfortunately, one sight turned my stomach. Again.

Patrick Deuel, a man that was bed-ridden a year ago because he weighed over 1,000 pounds, once again adorned the “above the fold” section of another day’s newspaper. It’s not that he’s morbidly obese — that’s not what bothers me. It’s the fact that this same story has been brought to us for the past year and a half, and it’s time we let Patrick Deuel go on with his life. The Argus, however, doesn’t see it this way. They want to sell more papers by telling us how overweight Deuel used to be and how much progress he’s made.

Maybe they feel like they’re part of the solution. Maybe the Argus think’s they are part of what’s getting Deuel’s weight down.

With this in mind, I rushed upstairs to blog about it — to go on and on about how horrible it was to constantly show this non-story, as if the Argus Leader had some sort of huge crush on a man that used to weigh a little bit less than a Geo Metro and now looks like he’s got a giant 100 pound flesh pancake flapping around in front of him. This story is worn out. I didn’t care about it when he was going into the hospital in the first place. This is a feature that should have been jettisoned to page 3 or 4 of the Sioux Empire section, and then left alone.

Instead, we’ve had up to seven stories on Deuel in the past year. The Argus even has a “timeline” of Deuel’s weight loss. He’s become a celebrity throughout the nation. He’s what many people think of when they hear “Sioux Falls”. He’s appeared via MSNBC, CBS, and has been featured on a TLC special.

He’s at 467 now. Congrats. I’m happy for him. Just keep him out of my damned paper.

Of course, I was scooped by Todd Epp over at SD Watch — he posted about how tired the story was long before I was even up today.

Oh well. Better late than never.

Patrick Deuel. Stay out of my paper.

Do it for my birthday, at least.

This was lovingly handwritten on October 24th, 2005