NEW YORK—The American print, broadcast, and online news media inexplicably continued reporting Wednesday on topics ranging from the budget debate in Washington to the recent tumult in Syria as if Saturday's escape of a 20-inch Egyptian cobra from the Bronx Zoo—a snake whose venom destroys its prey's nervous system and can kill a human being in 15 minutes—isn't the only thing worth paying attention to right now. "The safety of nuclear power continues to be a hot-button topic," said one reporter in a newscast that, bizarrely, wasn't devoted entirely to a deadly snake that has no regard for human life and could be anywhere, coiled up in someone's basement, hiding in a pillowcase, or at this very moment looming right behind an individual reading a news article, its neck-hood fully extended and its lethal fangs poised to strike into the back of one's head. "And in sports news, [something else unrelated to the only two topics that could possibly be of any interest to anyone, namely, (a) what is being done to catch the snake and (b) how does one actively hide from it]." As of press time, Brian Williams should stop interviewing President Obama about Libya for Christ's sake and ask him why, with a snake on the loose that can release a neurotoxin causing severe flaccid paralysis, the government isn't setting up antivenom distribution centers across the country.