December 3, 2009

How Do You Know?

I could write this same post everyday.

Here’s the set up:

Don’t hate yourself because, having tuned into the Tiger Woods drama and the Salahis comedy you’ve found that you can’t tune them out. And don’t blame CNN or TMZ or even the New York Times for making the yarns as irresistible as an open bag of Doritos. There’s a reason these two stories appeal to us and why—even though we’ve been lectured that we really shouldn’t be paying any attention to the unfolding spectacles—we keep coming back for more.

Sez who?

Exactly what evidence exists that Americans want American journalism to cover celebrities? What evidence exists that Americans “can’t get enough”?

What I suspect we have here is something far different: This is the stuff journalists can’t get enough of. (It’s easier than, say, covering important issues comprehensively — that requires hard work, hard thinking, and resources such as time and money.)

They feed it to us in great amounts. I think a better argument can be made that any interest on the part of the public is to a very great extent created by news media focus on celebrities.

And, really, if we were that interested, don’t you suppose all the coverage would lead to something other than ever-declining readership?

I stick by my original advice: Try being serious.

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