Friday, June 08, 2007

What the BLEEP is wrong with us?

A point of personal privilege, Mr. Speaker:

What's wrong with us?

Us as in American culture. Us as in the mass media. Have we completely lost our sense of perspective?

I'm speaking of the undue, unwarranted attention given a certain individual this week. Cable, internet, even our local newscasts have spent far too much time and attention on the adjudication of a 26-year-old woman in Los Angeles. Her celebrity is ridiculous, her crime commonplace but the amount of attention given these proceedings has so out of whack, I think the media has lost its mind. Even National Public Radio, the last sanctuary for completely serious and important news , has stooped to include mentions of this person.

Disproportional response to this nonsense aside, I'll concede celebrities who do bad stuff warrant some news coverage. A Heisman trophy winner and NFL hall of famer accused of murder deserves some ink. A global music superstar accused of molesting boys is probably worth a mention. But those individuals had accomplished something, contributed a panel to the American cultural mosaic. Our latest obsession rose to fame because of a sex tape. A SEX TAPE!

What's scary is what this may say about the American people. The media conglomerates wouldn't be covering this unless people are consuming it. So why is demand there? I fear Americans have forgotten we have enemies that hate this stuff (and us) more than I do. We are too easily distracted these days to remember they are still out there. And let's not forget the problems we still haven't solved: health insurance, child abuse, oil addiction, Social Security, tribal violence, global warming, and on and on.

It's shocking and sad in the same moment. The beam of hope we can cling to is the fact this will end. A new distraction will come along, more salacious and time consuming than this.


Gregory Holman said...

Toujours sauntering toward the abyss. Bravo Brad for saying what everyone else is thinking.

This is why I find myself getting all my news online. I can click on the news I want, filter out the rest.

Matt said...

AMEN Brad. And I concur with the above posting. I get 95% of my news from the Net so as to avoid the cult of celebrity.

Randy said...

While I normally do not write about that person on my blog either, this time there was a legitimate news story involved: Are rich people treated better in the court system than the poor? Obviously, we know the answer, but doesn't the media have a responsibility to keep pointing it out in the hopes that maybe someday our elected officials and our judges will start treating people equally?

Brad Belote said...

Randy, I agree that is a legitimate issue but if that story is being told somewhere it's been drowned out by the flood of sensational minute-by-minute minutia of the other elements of the story.

Randy said...

I will concede that point to you. This story could have been used to to explore the differences between the way celebrities (or the wealthy) are treated when they get into the judicial system, as opposed to the rest of us> It also could have led to an examination of the way repeat drunk driving offenders, and those who continue to drive while their licenses are suspended, are treated by the judicial system. Unfortunately, it appears an opportunity is being missed.