Let me prepare you – I’m going to mention both Anna Nicole Smith and Britney Spears in the following blog. Don’t hit the escape button just yet. I’m not putting their names in this entry in order to draw ratings. Based on your responses, the coffee pot episode seems to draw more interest.
I’m blogging about these blondes because that’s all I see when I turn on network TV or cable news these days. This week has been non-stop Anna, the court-battle for her body and the bizarre judge who has turned the case into his own one-man show. It would have been “All About Anna” if not for Britney’s desire to get back in the headlines. She shaved her head, left rehab and returned to rehab (at the time of this writing).
As bizarre and cartoonish as the lives of these two women are, the only thing stranger is the media coverage of these two messes. Watching Fox, MSNBC and CNN, it’s non-stop coverage and analysis of these soap opera .. like they really matter in my life. The broadcast networks are also drinking the Kool Aid. ABC, CBS and NBC lead off their morning shows with this dribble and the nightly newscasts are no immune to the drug known as celebrity journalism.
This is why I’m proud to work in local news. Often, critics will ridicule some of the stories we do as “sensational” and “playing to the lowest common denominator”. But at least we spend the majority of our air time covering things that actually affect the lives of our viewers – like traffic, schools and business. The same cannot be said of all this Anna and Britney coverage – especially on cable.
I know the stories are alluring and enticing, but do they deserve this much coverage? Of course, not. Still, it’s hard for me to think the whole world hasn’t turned into a sitcom with the scrutiny and attention paid to these cases that cannot affect anybody but the people involved. So the next time you see me give a smirk or a strange look while reading one of these stories, you will know why.