Friday, February 16, 2007


American news looks more and more like the tabloids everyday. headlining stories are all the same. mostly fear mongering and celebrity gossip. the blame spreads out far. the broadcasting companies are looking for the highest ratings, so they pursue stories that will garner the most interest amongst viewers. the journalists concede a bit of dignity to keep in their boss' good graces. it is 'we the people' that are the most responsible. we provide those ratings. we tune in night after night for the news we demand - endless stories of brangelina and tomkat.

why are we obsessed with celebrities? if someone notable does something remarkable or a long standing icon passes away, i'll agree that it needs to be covered. what's disturbing is when every news channel reports endlessly for days on the inconsequential garbage. paris hilton and anna nicole smith have become stars for being little more than talentless bimbos. famous only for their fame. apparently, people can't hear enough about american idol. it took a movie for millions of Americans to learn about global warming. Madonna's African adoption fiasco. who's wearing what on the red carpet. who they're dating. when they have babies. their political views. none of this is information that poses any real effect. Americans are far too consumed in their own entertainment.

its not hard to understand why we, as a nation, are so disliked. we're stereotypically seen as self absorbed, lazy and ignorant. as pompous, domineering, cocky and power hungry. more people voted for their favorite american idol finalist than in the the last presidential election. we're slaves to advertising. we watch more television than anyone. our role models are actors. professional liars. TV Guide, People Magazine and Us Weekly are some of our top selling magazines. these are all facts that should disgust you.

last week, Anna Nicole Smith died. it should have been, at best, a 10 second blurb. a footnote. instead, every major station followed this "news" for days. its not so much what the television producers choose to report on that bothers me, its what they allow to slip through the cracks. i listen to public radio fairly regularly and heard some leads during that time span that were not being reported on the 6 o'clock news. these are all things that most people didn't hear about due to the media onslaught of Ms. Smith's untimely death.

*in an attempt to stop an outbreak of avian bird flu in Great Britain, the British were forced to slaughter thousand of turkeys.

*researchers have just managed to stop light, hold it trapped in a cloud of chilled atoms called Bose Einstein condensate, and then release it in a second cloud a short distance away.

*the pentagon released a report last friday which suggests that the undersecretary of the department of defense manipulated pre-war intelligence to heighten fears of a connection between Iraq and Al-Qaida.

*another U.S. helicopter was shot down last weekend in Iraq. it was the 5th in a series of recent "crashes".

i stopped watching the news a long time ago. i turn to NPR, PBS or the New York Times. i shouldn't have to. we need to realize that important events happen outside of Hollywood. more importantly, we need to start caring about it.

1 comment:

rustedjeep said...

And...this is why we don't have a TV!