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News cycle too crowded for worst Ebola outbreak known

A handout photo provided by Samaritan's Purse on

A handout photo provided by Samaritan's Purse on Friday, Aug. 1, 2014, shows Dr. Kent Brantly, right, working at an Ebola treatment clinic in Foya, Liberia, on April 11, 2014. Brantly and Nancy Writebol, who are now suffering from Ebola in Liberia, are scheduled to be evacuated to the U.S. for treatment. Credit: EPA

Any other weekend, we'd be in full Ebola panic by now.

Two otherwise healthy Americans, stricken with the deadly virus in Liberia, were getting charter-planed home for treatment , carrying the dreaded disease onto U.S. soil amid the worst Ebola outbreak in recorded human history.

You don't think a hyperventilating media could make something out of that?

We would, no doubt, except for Hamas and Israel. Except for kids at the border. Except for a Veterans Affairs department freshly pulled back from the brink. Except for a Congress in utter paralysis. Except for a Democratic president with poll numbers in the subbasement and a Republican House with poll numbers two or three levels below that. Except for a New York governor and for an anti-corruption commission that isn't anymore.

And I haven't even mentioned Justin and Orlando or Beyoncé and Jay Z.

Here's one reality of the news business, professional and amateur divisions alike: It can only handle so much news at once.

Ebola, you ask? We'll get back to you on that.


1. Yeah, I'd keep an eye on that.

2. Take two aspirin, and call me in the morning.

3. It's not that contagious.

4. Say "aah."

5. Can I see your insurance card?ASKED AND UNANSWERED: Would the fleeced relatives of convicted Ponzi schemer Robert Cassandro be so livid if he hadn't spent their money on a racehorse, a swimming pool, a glass-enclosed home gym and a lavish bar-mitzvah bash? There's scheming, and then there's scheming! . . . What's the big deal with tax preparers David Walsh of Lynbrook, Jose Bono of Bay Shore and Vincent Marciante of Babylon, who had their licenses revoked for skipping their own 2011 and 2012 returns? Haven't you ever heard that the shoemaker's kids go barefoot . . . What part of "yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk" do aggressive Port Washington drivers not understand? Police Chief William Kilfoil has a fresh stack of driver citations to hand out for PEETS sake -- Pedestrian Education, Enforcement and Traffic Solutions . . . From 350 to 256 to how much less dense can The Seasons at Elwood condo plan go? At some point is the Huntington Town Board voting on single-family homes? . . . Where have the Allenwood Park ducks disappeared to? Worried neighbors have been looking down nearby storm drains in Great Neck . . . East Hampton, vacation bargain? Maybe compared to Montauk -- $332 versus $342 per average hotel night, according to Everyone loves a deal, right?

THE NEWS IN SONG: It starts with an earthquake: "It's the End of the World," R.E.M.,


Who grumbles more than doctors? Paperwork, insurance hassles, malpractice suits -- if it isn't one thing, it's Obamacare. When do some of these docs get around to practicing medicine? Well, Roger Simpson is one physician with soaring morale. Of course, it comes not from taking but from giving back. As president of the LI Plastic Surgical Group, he has a busy private practice. But it isn't all face-lifts and tummy tucks for him. Simpson is all about professional diversity. He takes all comers as chief of plastic and reconstructive surgery at Nassau University Medical Center, trains surgical residents, directs the burn center and works closely with RotaCare, facilitating free health care for patients with massive needs and few resources. "This is exactly what so many doctors want when they come out of medical school," the Long Beach native says, "to be challenged, to have stimulating cases, to get the essence of why we chose this profession in the first place. Now that's really living the dream."

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