Thursday, December 7, 2006

"Celebritization of the News"

Conan O'Brian was interviewing Tom Brokaw a couple of nights ago, and Conan came up with an interesting question (which is more than Leno has done in ages). Has the news been infiltrated with what he called "the celebritization of the news"? A masterful question, since it seems that people would much rather hear of the latest controversy around Terrell Owens or Michael Vick or who Jessica Simpson is currently dating than they would about real news that has an impact on their daily lives. This got me thinking, Conans' very right.

This didn't start recently, it began back with the start of news shows like Entertainment tonight and Extra... but really didn't begin until TV and technology made it possible to track a celeb's every move. Cell Phone cameras, Internet ability to transmit video, handheld video cameras. But also there is the effect of the MTV generation, in which attention spans of anyone falls to about a week or two at most when it comes to a celebrity. Brittney Spears must appear somewhere every night so that the news shows will give an update about who, what, where, and why on her daily. She somehow gets on the news because she had her child in her lap while driving, a move that countless normal people have done in the past without getting called by DFCS. TO must find a way to attract the media's attention (well, before he hooked up with Romo and started playing football), even when her despises the media to begin with. It's an ADD world, and celebrities have no choice but to marry the media, even when they hate them.

But what makes all this bad is that often the news of Tom Cruise marrying... Again... overtakes much more serious and relevant news. And it's done deliberately by the media, because they know that people would much rather here about Brittney than Britan, or Simpson rather than Sudan. The media is right... irrelevant news is much more appealling than news that makes a difference, because it is calmly reassuring (ignorance is bliss) instead of putting fear or alarm into someone. That is why, if the world ends, Headline News will be the best news show to watch. We want calmly reassuring, we don't care about the deaths in Africa or the War on terror, because it makes us realize that there is an entire world out there in which bad things happen, and in which we can either do nothing about, or we could do something about it, if we wanted to work hard enough to do it.

We feed on the fluff of the world, and neglect to get down to anything of substance. That is the real issue of celebritization of the news.


I know that some blogs are supposed to be about someone's real life... I've read those... and if something comes up in my life that needs writing about, I'll do that... but for now, opinions, things I think about, those will do for me. It's a place for me to write down my thoughts.


I always watch Whose Line is It anyway from 10 to 11pm on ABC Family... good stuff... as long as they stay away from certain skit games... Scenes from a Hat is the best, Millionaire Game and Helping Hands are atrocious. Makes me wish I had a DVD of it all to get around all the games I don't like.

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