Click Here For Photos of Naked Starlets
Fixation on celebrities is corroding our society. It’s diverting attention from things that matter. It is making us prurient, superficial and stupid. (Yeah, right, just show us the photos.)
Is this an issue too big and broad for our little blog? Is it a cosmic cultural phenomenon we simply can’t affect?
Maybe, but as New Yorkers, we have an obligation to at least try to address the problem. That’s because New York is the epicenter of the phenomenon. We are the ones driving this corrosive trend. We’re pushing it on the rest of society. We are to blame.
You’re thinking: “How’s that? Who’s the “we” here?”
It’s the New York media, which sets the tone for the rest of the nation. On any given day, headlines in the New York Post and the New York Daily News are dominated by celebrity bullshit:
Man to Pay 81k to Kiss Elizabeth Hurley
Gweneth Paltrow Converting to Judaism
Ricky Martin Wants a Daughter in 2015
Melissa Rivers Puts on Brave Face After Joan’s Death
It’s not just the city tabs. It’s Good Morning America and other national shows produced in New York. It’s the whole media/entertainment complex, which is located mainly in NYC, and also in LA.
Case in point: This week’s insane story run with and about nude hacked photos of Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton. According to Google, there were 2,988 stories written about it.
Now the defense from the news organizations is that they are only giving people what they want. And they back up this contention with data. All media organizations monitor “hits” on their web pages and they know exactly what gets the most traffic. It is indeed the aforementioned prurient, superficial, stupid stuff.
It occurs to us that if we wanted to make the big time in our little world, we could post photos of the “hotties” of the state capitol and immediately increase our readership at NT2.
Yeah, we could do that, but it wouldn’t make it right.
Journalism used to be a craft and a calling. News used to be news with the gossip and society shit relegated to their own sections. The two weren’t blended. And that’s actually our biggest complaint, that manufactured celebrity “news” is included with real news.
Of course, we know it’s a tall order to expect that news organization would to stop covering celebrities and their every action, but we think it’s a doable thing for them to clearly delineate between real journalism and the celebrity crap.
In this regard when George Stephanopoulos, in GMA’s morning news roundup, hawks “Hot news, right after the break, about the new cast for Dancing With the Stars!” things have gone too far.
Part of the answer here is to appeal to guys like Stephanopoulos. He’s a real guy. He can’t be comfortable with what they have him doing. Maybe he’d assert himself more if he knew people on the outside would support and applaud him for refusing to demean himself.
Our own Bill Hammond is another key person. He’s a serious journalist who is high in the editorial ranks at the Daily News. Perhaps Bill could speak out internally and say: “Do we really need another front page story on Jay Z and Beyonce’s marriage?”
Governor Cuomo might also have a role to play. Maybe he could speak to his brother and say: “Chris, you’ve got to find a stylish way to speak out about the cheapening of the news. You’ve got to separate yourself from this culture of the invasive and insipid.”
Prominent New York journalists should speak about the crisis in their profession.
Lawmakers in New York should hold public hearings on privacy and the media.
State government – the proper investigatory body – should investigate hacking.
Cultural critics should … oh, hell, let’s check out this photo of Kim Kardashian: