A quick check of the calendar shows that we’re still in Sweeps Month, when cable-news networks desperate for a ratings bump break out the hard-hitting stories. Once again we return to MS-NBC, the Little Network No One Watches, for their blanket coverage of the Great Bikini Meltdown. This time, a small community deals with the hysteria and heartbreak of bikini-clad baristas — and worse.

My favorite part comes at the 1:10 mark, where a mother calls Hot Chick-a-Latte “terrifying” for having its server in nothing more than panties and pasties. Annoying, perhaps, but “terrifying”? I give her higher marks for her protest — she started a clothing drive for the baristas in question.

I’m not even going to bother posting the video, which is inane. The bikini has been with us for decades now. The pastie has been with us longer, although usually it remains the province of adults-only entertainment rather than a drive-through coffee shop. A bikini-clad girl in public simply doesn’t amount to news anywhere except on national cable networks, and in moments of honesty, even news directors at places like MS-NBC would admit that they run these strictly for the titillation value. Note the camera scans of the bikini barista who thoroughly enjoys every second of attention she receives from the news crew.

Of course, from the network that offers nothing more than lunatic harangues from Keith Olbermann and thrills up Chris Matthews’ leg, this could qualify as a Pulitzer Prize entry.