Tuesday, July 8, 2008

In The Middle Of A War, A Divorce Breaks Out

In case you have spent the last week on another planet, let me share this week’s breaking news with you. Pop singer and all around nutcase Madonna is divorcing her husband Guy Ritchie and New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez is divorcing his wife Cynthia. To make it even more interesting there are rumors that A-Rod and Madonna may have been having an affair at a Kabbalah meeting (or something like that, I lost interest). Why, do you ask, is this news? I don’t know. I can guarantee you though that it is. This has gotten coverage on Fox news on Monday from sunup on Fox and Friends to sundown on On The Record with Greta and practically every minute in between. I only watch Fox at home but I have to assume the other networks cover this or something just as irrelevant with the same in-depth reporting as Fox does. I do watch CNN at work and I know they do the same.

I can understand the importance of this though. It’s not like there was anything else important going on. We only had two wars in progress yesterday. George Bush was at some meeting called the G8 Summit. The Pentagon announced that the Iraqi government was making progress on it’s benchmarks. Gas prices where continuing their climb through the ceiling. We have a presidential election going on. Barrack Obama’s plane had to make an emergency landing. John McCain made an important speech on the economy. Other than that it was a slow news day.

The national media is absolutely obsessed with celebrity gossip. Before we dump on them too much though, we do need to remember who’s fault this all is. It’s ours. Maybe not yours, certainly not mine, but definitely societies as a whole. There is one simple and hard fact about cable news, they report what people want to see. They are businesses first and news organizations second. The owners of the networks want to make money, in doing so they have effectively turned the news into entertainment.

Another reason this is boring is the simple fact that it is a celebrity divorce. I mean, yawn. If they wanted to get my attention, they would run a story on a celebrity marriage that actually made it more than 10 years. I know they exist but they are rare. I would like to hear a story about a celebrity couple that didn’t cheat on each other. Maybe a story about a celebrity who is not abusing some substance. This may actually qualify as news. Ok, maybe more like fantasy, but still news.

We have all made fun of the tabloid magazines sold at the checkouts of the grocery store. I believe most if not all of us have the guilty pleasure of reading the covers of these while standing in line. We love to see the latest Elvis sightings, the latest secret government UFO labs, and the babies raised by (insert your favorite wild animal here). I know I am not the only one who stands there and reads these. The good thing is, I don’t have to anymore. First, my wife does most of the shopping these days. Second, I can just turn on Fox News for my daily fix of tabloid news. Sorry, gotta go, they’re talking about Christie Brinkley’s divorce, seems her husband was caught cheating and spending $3000 a month on porn.


Z said...

Very well said, Chuck...it's so important to talk divorce when there's a war, floods, fire, high food prices, energy problems, an election, Jackson saying he wants to dis#$*(&$ Obama and..........car chases in Van Nuys, California, for Pete's sake!!

I swear the worst thing that happened was 24/7 news cycles...remember "News at 5, film at 11"? THAT was healthy...you got it in doses. A little news...and an evening of entertainment, a little film about the news that finally got to the station and then Johnny Carson. Nice!


Brooke said...

Between this divorce and the Brinkley divorce, it must be hard for the midstream media to squeeze actual fact into the news lineup.