Monday, January 28, 2008

The News Media’s Fascination With Celebrities

I know that people like to get some “lighter” news alongside the day’s harsher news of war, conflict, murder, the mortgage crisis, the stock market, etc. But sometimes the news media goes way overboard on the coverage of celebrities.

Case in point: the recent death of Heath Ledger. The media covered this ad nauseam, in some cases news stations like Fox and CNN breaking in multiple times for multiple updates. Did we really need a blow by blow of every single tidbit? I don’t think so.

Talk show host Montel Williams finally fought back on the issue. Granted, I am not a fan of Montel Williams but he made some interesting commentary on the Fox News morning show the other day. (The YouTube clip is below.) While I don’t think that people want to constantly hear about people killed in the war – or anywhere else for that matter – Montel does bring home the point that the media seems to sometimes be enamored with people and topics who really are insignificant. The hypocrisy here is that the premise of Montel’s own show seems to be to exploit other people’s problems. Maybe Fox should take note, and maybe Montel should rethink the focus of his own show.

I know that cable news channels, and even morning shows like Today and Good Morning America have a lot of time to fill. I think there is so much happening in this world that there has got to be more interesting topics than a celebrity death, or celebrity custody battles, or celebrity faux pas. I say save that stuff for the entertainment news shows, and internet news and blogs, where people can go out and find information if they want it.

Anyway, here’s the Montel/Fox News clip. If you have a few minutes, take a look at it. It may make you think about what kind of news you want from your news shows.

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