Cultural Sensationalism

As you already know, I’m a news junkie. I think any writer should be. But if I turn on/log on to one more newscast and hear Anna Nichole Smith’s name…honestly, I’m going to throw up.

Smith was never an entertainment figure that fascinated me. Granted, there are few that do, but hers was a name I barely knew until this fiasco. I would wager a guess that there are many of you reading this that feel the same way. She was a blonde model with some relational and family difficulties. She never struck me as that attractive, and I feel the normal mixture of disdain and sympathy that I feel for other Playmates. Her death was tragic, as are all deaths. It was mysterious. There’s a history of mysterious deaths in her family. The aftermath with her family and significant others is a trainwreck. I acknowledge all of these.

What the whole thing is not: newsworthy.

I’m sorry for the grieving family. I hope they find peace, and I hope that Smith was ready to cross the line between the physical and spiritual realms. My heart breaks if she wasn’t. But this dominating our news coverage for as long as it has? A bit sensationalist, don’t you think?

I suppose the upshot of it is that we don’t have to look at or hear President Bush’s military stupidity quite so much. Take the positive where you can find it, right?

I shy away from tabloids for a reason. I want hard news. I want to know what’s going on, what has substance to it. I recognize the cultural validity of celebrity icons, but excessive coverage of anything is damaging to credibility of journalism.

At least leave it in the entertainment section instead of all over the headlines. I think we would all be thankful.

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