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.