Shaken Not Stirred

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Making News By Not Making News

Recently the news media said they would ban news stories on Paris Hilton. But by banning the news stories on her, she made the news again. I don't get it, she isn't news. The things that she does, the stunts that she pulls has been pulled by many other women before her.

She once said in an interview that it hurts her feelings when people who don't know her say mean things about her. It's true, most people don't know her. They've never sat across the table for dinner with her. Many have never even seen her in person. They see what the "news" broadcasts about her, most of it edited for shock value. Judgments are made based on the small clips and comments she makes for news reporters. Many times we don't hear the question asked, we just hear her reply and make our own assumptions about what she is speaking about.

A lot of times, we fail to let certain "news" stories die. I'm using the word news extremely loosely here. For example, Anna Nicole Smith. Yes, I agree it's a terrible tragedy. But the story keeps growing. Now there are new claims to paternity? As the story drags on, more people are crawling out of the woodwork to claim that they are the father of this poor child--who will never live a normal life.

When did menial acts like what a person eats for dinner, where they party, or what they bought for a loved on on Valentines day become news headlines?

23 Comments:

  • I truly liked Anna Nicole, even though she wasn't the brighest person out there, but she was interesting to watch.

    So regarding mindless info on where a celeb eats, shops, ect--the paparazzi would be out of a job if people were not wanting to know this information. They make BIG bucks to get those photos and don't care who they bring down trying to get them.

    By Blogger Nutz On A Roll, at 10:41 AM  

  • Personally, Paris Hilton acts in a way that makes me just fine with the fact that I don't know her personally.

    I think Americans have gotten really, really fascinated with the lifestyles of the rich and famous, for some reason. I mean, look at all the celebrity gossip blogs and tv shows that've sprouted in the past few years. It's not news, but it keeps people interested more than "real" news. I'm definitely guilty!

    By Blogger KatieBelle, at 11:39 AM  

  • I agree. The coverage on Anna Nicole has been astounding and I don't it has let up now that she has been laid to rest.

    I think all the gossip news and coverage would stop if there were no demand for it. Unfortunately, a some people actually do want to hear about Paris and what she's wearing. It sells.

    By Blogger Trixie, at 11:40 AM  

  • This reminds me of a section that's in one of the celeb gossip type magazine that features celebrities doing "real" things. And I always feel super dumbfounded because really, who cares that Julia Roberts, "shops at Walgreens?" Or, Madonna, "carries her own groceries?" It's pretty lame when these stupid things make headlines, no?

    By Blogger brookem, at 12:14 PM  

  • The news media in this day an age is a joke for the most part. There are still some print media and very few TV media presentations worth watching.

    It's all about Britney's vagina, Paris' escapades, Anna's sad story and what celebrity wore which dress at the "Let's pat each other on the back for doing nothing" awards ceremonies.

    Why the American public doesn't force the meida to report on important topics like genocides in Africa, the US government curbing our personal freedoms, dirty politicians,
    "pork" filled legislation etc... is beyond me.

    My gues is that the American public does not like to look reality in the eye. They prefer to live in the "lottery", "money", fame dream world because it's easier and less painful.

    Sorry for the rant. Anyone really interested in this topic should watch the EXCELLENT recent series by Frontline PBS.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/view/

    By Blogger Rocketstar, at 12:27 PM  

  • in my opinion, the media wouldn't run these "stories" if there was no interest there. they're trying to make a buck like everybody else, and obviously there's enough interest to warrant the amount of coverage. having said that, it seems that the way to make these kinds of stories go away would be to ignore them completely, as i'm trying to do.

    By Blogger The Duck, at 1:32 PM  

  • Every time someone buys Star, People, and the like, they send the message that we care about this stuff. If there's a demand, they will supply.

    And I must admit that I watch E!.

    By Blogger Ally, at 1:41 PM  

  • the reason why i read these kinds of stories is i honestly find them amusing. there is so much "real" news out there that is so very depressing that i enjoy "fluff" to keep things balanced for me :)

    m

    By Blogger mollymcmo, at 1:42 PM  

  • On one hand, its trashy pseudo-news, but on the other hand, what's the alternative? Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Israel/Palestine, Cuba...

    By Anonymous whatigotsofar, at 2:19 PM  

  • They gotta stop comparing this woman to the likes of Marilyn Monroe. Do i really need to go into detail why???

    By Blogger twolf1920, at 5:14 PM  

  • See, I love a good bit of celeb gossip from time to time, but that whole "Cameron Diaz ate a hamburger" type of reporting is just dull. At least find something worth reporting!

    Cxx

    By Blogger Claire, at 12:33 PM  

  • Celebrity and fame is the new American Dream.

    By Blogger The Phoenix, at 5:14 PM  

  • Paris Hilton is pretty funny on the simple life! I think she likes all the attention.

    As for Anna Nicole, let her RIP I mean enough already right? I read where ET spent like tons of money for the rights to the funeral footage. Crazy.

    By Blogger Phats, at 2:32 PM  

  • The "real" news is so depressing and horrible that we are driven to sift through the lives of young, irrelevants like paris Hilton.

    By Blogger Ruben, at 8:55 AM  

  • Because women are weird and are obsessed with weird shit. ;)

    Steve~

    By Blogger Steven Novak, at 12:14 PM  

  • I think we should focus on more important news, the goings on in the world. What about Darfur, what about the senseless murder and rape of young children? Israel/Palestine? I think a lot of people have the "it's not in my backyard" mentality. It makes me sick.

    By Blogger Miss Ash, at 10:54 PM  

  • It does seem wrong when trivial crap about a "famous" person outrates "real" news. Sad when the front page talks about Paris Hilton, or Anna Nicole Smith, when there is real tragedy happening ... bushfires, tornadoes, murder, etc. I guess, people seem to rather see "feel good" or "trivial" stuff on the front page ... sells more papers !!
    That's the way of the world today, unfortunately.
    Hope you are well, Angel.
    Have a great week.
    Take care, Meow

    By Blogger Meow, at 11:40 PM  

  • Did anyone reported that I only had coffee for breakfast?? No? Ah. Well. I shall blog about so it is immortalised on the WWW ;-)

    Hey, Angel! There are 4 Fil-Am girls staying at my house this weekend.. so trust me, lots of shrieking at missy's!

    By Blogger missy, at 5:24 AM  

  • I think this all happened when televsions firmly became entrenched in every home in the US, which made us lose our lives so now we're watching how other people live, no matter how banal they act. :(

    By Blogger Walter, at 10:08 AM  

  • People care more about what celebrities do than what is going on in Darfur so until that mindset changes you are going to get a generous helping of Hollywood crap.

    By Blogger Mr. Shife, at 4:51 PM  

  • Hi angel, PH was in this country recently. She was reputedly paid over $1 million to pose with a bottle for a beer ad campaign. That annoys me even more than her media splashes.

    PS - I think you're right about the war, there's probably enough feelings stirred up already without me helping. As you're 250 you must have seen a lot of conflicts.

    By Blogger rob, at 6:52 PM  

  • I sometimes think people use celebrity worship as a substitute for religion.

    I've only met a few celebrities, but sitting in the kitchen drinking tea with a fairly well-known celebrity musician my friend was dating at the time, it struck me that they really ARE regular people.

    Heh, we talked about gardening and I admired the homemade jam he'd just made. Regular stuff.

    Though his house was AWFULLY NICE.

    By Blogger Spider Girl, at 12:10 AM  

  • Angel, you are completely correct about this—celebrities aren't news.

    But there is a cult of fame that feeds on itself... particularly since the 50s/60s and the birth of rock'n'roll. Walter is right; television has been more of a curse than a boon to our society. (And, by the way, you just fed into the fame cult twice by mentioning both Paris Hilton and Anna Nicole Smith)

    People want to know things about the people who entertain them, so the media (not the news, differentiate between a gossip columnist and a journalist please) gives it to them and then the public wants more, and now we have people who are famous for being famous. Paris Hilton was born into money, showed up on some red carpets, and (with the help of two supposedly ‘leaked’ sex tapes) generated enough buzz to make a career out of it. Anna Nicole’s life arc wasn’t much glossier. Let’s call them both for what they are… porn stars made good.

    Whatigotssofar, the alternative is indeed Afghanistan, North Korea, Syria etc. In the 70s, people actually cared enough about the alternative they dared to participate in democracy, they wrote letters, they marched and made speeches, were arrested for civil disobedience… they made their displeasure known.

    If more generations informed themselves and acted upon their outrage, instead of numbing themselves with their X-boxes and trash gossip, then democracy might actually work.

    By Blogger blackcrag, at 1:50 PM  

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