Clones, Pies, and Other Things that Make the News

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                There are times when our criticizing of the news' tendencies towards sensationalism is akin to a heroin addict criticizing his dealer's tendencies towards pushing illegal substances.  I am as guilty as the next person, and this knowledge was cemented into my mind when I listened to the audio clip describing worthy news.  Obviously, if there is a one-person car crash, I don't necessarily want the news to spend ten minutes on that coverage, especially, and this is the sad, but honest truth of human nature, if I don't know the person involved.  Now, if someone "important" is involved in the crash... We who rally for equal news coverage are somewhat silenced by the fact that there is a distinguishing line between who matters and who doesn't.  Those who don't matter probably won't make the news.  An elderly lady's house is robbed?  It may make the news, depending on the night.  A senator's house is robbed.  That's news.  A clone of a senator is baking a pie...


Angela Palumbo said:

Someone has watched too many Star Wars Yes, Josie. I would totally watch a story abot a clone of a senator baking a pie. It goes the same for a kidnapping. If Joe Schmo's daughter was kidnapped, the community might rally together to search for her. But if the daughter of a movie star is kidnapped, it would be a national search. In an hour, pictures of the kidnapper and kidnappee would be all over the news and people on the other side of the country would be searching for the child even though the kidnapping happened thousands of miles away. Who you are matters. That's the bottom line.

Jeanine O'Neal said:

Apathy. We shouldn't even be called humans anymore. We should be called apathetics. For the most part, people don't care about anyone but #1. The news IS testimant to this. Why do we watch racecar driving? Not because we like seeing cars go in a circle. We are waiting for that crash. That newsworthy story. Why do we like stories about natural disasters? Because we like seeing destruction and death (as long as it's not happening to us)?

I think the reason we're more concerned when famous people are involved in news stories because odd as it is, we may feel like they're a part of our lives whether we know them or not. To pick a celebrity who died over the summer who everybody's not mentioning, how many people who watched Charlie's Angels were saddened by Farrah Fawcett's death? Not only that, her fight against cancer was well-publicized and people who've had to deal with cancer in their own life probably felt like they could relate to her. This combination of her being this perfect-looking actress but also having the very human problem of cancer was what made people want to hear about her. And if it's a political figure, the person may actually have an effect on our lives to a certain extent, so we want to hear about them. I don't know if it's necessarily a bad thing; people tend to want to hear news about people they're familiar with, whether or not they may really know them.

Actually, Angela, I think the problem is that somebody has *made* too many Star Wars movies -- the recent trilogy makes me go "meh".

But seriously, yes, Josie, you're right. We are the reason why the news is what it is, and the news is giving us what we will buy (or spend time watching).

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