Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Celebrity Obsession

I get a lot of my news from Drudge. There are several reasons for this. Drudge is thorough. Occasionally, he'll get a hot scoop before everyone else, but most times his site contains links to other sites, primarily newspapers and the like. In short, it's a good place to stop to get my news if I'm starved for time.

The other reason that I like Drudge, is that his site is simple. The stories are linked in black--sometimes the big stories are linked in red--against a white background. He might have a picture or two up, but for the most part it is significantly less sensationalized than say, Fox News or even CNN. Which is why I have been so disappointed with some of the stories he's been carrying lately.

Slightly more than a week ago, he had a story about Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. Underneath was a story about Jennifer Aniston. Today, he has another story about Brad Pitt--he's in the hospital I think--and another one about Mariah Carey. Apparently Miss Carey's dress fell off during a performance. How news worthy.

Ever since I started paying attention to the news, I have noticed a disheartening trend. With ratings on the line, the important stories get bumped in place of celebrity fluff pieces. News organizations should take the repsonsibility that their name would apply and report the news. This goes way beyond the left/right bias in different media. Can we agree that no one should care all that much about Jen and Brad?

It just seems to be getting worse, too. Now, I don't exactly have any proof of this, but when Drudge is picking up on this drivel I'm a bit worried.

We've gotten to the point where we simply want to be entertained all the time. We idolize the wrong people. Jen and Brad may be good actors, but so what? The ability to hide behind a facade should not be a trait we wish to emulate.

For goodness sake, Ronald Reagan was voted the greatest American. I like Ronny, don't get me wrong, but come on. Greatest American? Was Thomas Paine even on the list? Michael Jackson, Madonna and and Tom Cruise were.

I don't have an answer here. Many of us seem to be quite content in wallowing in ignorance and ignoring the real news in exchange for feel-good stories. Education is a start, but the people in this land are free, and one cannot make people choose good over mediocrity.

And maybe that's all there is to it. News has become a part of pop culture, and pop culture is predominantly bad. Misguided people choose to care for things that don't matter. I'll climb down off of my soapbox long enough to admit that I am certainly part of the problem. We all are really. That's the problem, too: how does one fight back against this nonsense?

If I had the answer I wouldn't be wasting my time writing this.


Loyal Achates said...

Well, here's the problem: you get your news from Drudge. You might as well be informed by an astrologer.

A Wiser Man Than I said...

Oh come on. Can you honestly tell me that I'm less informed than the average American? You may not like Drudge, but he is certainly more reputable than an astrologer.