Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Celebrity “News” – Isn’t

In January, I wrote (here) about the media’s infatuation with celebrities. In their attempt to balance out the harsh reality of national and world events, sometimes, the media goes too far in reporting about entertainment celebrities.

The news shows and morning shows like The Today Show have been filled with the sordid details of the latest celebrity trials and tribulations. Lately it’s Christie Brinkley’s child custody case and the breakup of A-Rod’s marriage and a possible affair with Madonna that have been the focus.

But do people really care about these things? The fact is, if this kind of “news” coverage went away, most people would probably never miss it. Why? Because it isn’t really news, it’s more like gossip. We all know that people love to gossip, but gossip has no place on a serious news show.

I know that the morning shows have a lot of time to fill. In fact, these shows probably aren’t news shows but are more for entertainment. Still, even in their specific news segments in these shows, the celebrity news creeps in and takes up a disproportionately large amount of time over “harder” news stories.

I wish would just creep right back out. Celebrity news should be left to shows like Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, or TMZ. People who want to watch the drivel about movie and television stars can watch those shows, and leave those of us with actual brains to watch news that really matters. With a US presidential election looming, a war in Iraq going on, gas and food prices going through the roof, etc., we need more information about how the average, everyday person can navigate in this complicated and expensive world. It is true that knowledge is power, but the type of knowledge a person collects makes a difference in how much power they have over their own lives. And frankly, knowledge about the lives and antics of celebrities doesn’t give one much of anything at all.

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