Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Media’s Love Affair With Celebrities

There’s just no getting around the fact that the media loves celebrities, especially when they’re at their worst.

Media networks such as FOX News, CNN and others are falling over themselves with coverage of Britney Spears’ divorce and whether or not she did drugs in front of her children.

Meanwhile, these same crusaders of the Freedom of the Press are wetting themselves with excitement over O.J. Simpson’s alleged armed robbery.

And while all this is going on, many Americans aren’t even aware of the fact that Israel allegedly destroyed nuclear weapons in Syria. In fact, CNN didn’t report this important news item on its Web site when the story first broke.

So, why are drunken, armed celebrities getting more media attention than other important news items? Well, for the sake of space and time, let’s keep it short and sweet:

  1. Our society deems it more important.
  2. Media networks know they can get more ratings because that’s what people want.
  3. It needs to be reported.

Numbers 1 and 2 are pretty much self-explanatory but let’s look at number 3. It needs to be reported. Does it? Does Lindsay Lohan’s drunken activities need to be reported?

Sadly, yes. One of the first things that are taught to journalists are the three reasons why stories get reported on:

People want to know. People need to know. And people have the right to know.

So, if a celebrity decides to do something stupid, such as getting drunk in public and flashing their privates to innocent bystanders, that incident will fit in one of those three categories. Just because you don’t think it’s newsworthy doesn’t mean the person sitting next to you, who can’t name at least three presidential candidates, feels the same way.

However, just because a celebrity incident needs to be reported, it doesn’t mean it should lead a news cast or be on the front page.

Although, those who are following Simpson’s latest escapade should be spared of a bit of criticism. Many feel that Simpson got away with murder and now are hoping he will get what’s coming to him.

While the media reports on people who are destroying their own lives, let us hope they inform the rest of us of people who want to destroy ours.