Our view: Who decides who’s a celebrity around here?

If you’re reading this, you’ve survived the celebrity apocalypse.

Or maybe we’re still in its midst and more mega stars will soon fall under Death’s scythe. It could be Daniel Baldwin, Alec’s lesser-known brother. Or it could be Greg Fitzsimmons, a one-time host of the “Adult Video News Awards.” Alas, tragically, it could even be Judge Wapner, the hand of fate in “Judge Wapner’s Animal Court.”

We won’t fault Billy Mays for being as uncelebrity as the Budweiser frogs, and we obviously won’t fault him for dying. But why on earth did he get the same headline space as Michael Jackson?

Because, let’s all be honest, nobody knew that guy on TV spilling with excitement over a household cleaner was named Billy Mays. Furthermore, if he dyed his skin black and dangled his baby off a balcony, no one would bat an eye.

Jackson’s death was big news until Mays trumped it. Jackson’s not getting any deader, but for all the attention cable news gave him when he was accused of sexual abuse, you’d expect to see People reporters going through his trash, paying millions for exclusive interviews with Janet and new allegations from now-20-somethings claiming they’d been touched at Neverland.

But no.

Mays’ death was the most over-covered thing since the swine flu.

Again, just so we’re clear and so the editorial board doesn’t get bombarded with thousands of letters instead of the hundreds we receive daily, we appreciate the sincerity of death. Mays’ family and friends are grieving.

Rather, this is a critique of the way news organizations handle news.

We’re in a nasty business. Sometimes newspaper editorial staffs have to decide which story deserves the bigger headline; the rape last night or the murder-suicide yesterday morning, for example. Either way, there’s a family involved who will see that in the paper.

But sometimes you get a no-brainer. Mays was one. That’s a five-inch brief in the obituary section.

Let us, however, play along for a second. If Mays is the standard for the level of celebrity that makes front page, then where were the other notables who died within the last week?

We didn’t see Gale Storm, star of the ’50s sitcom “My Little Margie,” in headlines after she died Saturday. Nor did the mass media care to mourn comedian Fred Travalena, who died Sunday.

The moral of this morbid editorial: Death gets us all in the end, but it’s minutely reassuring to know that the D-list and national headlines are apparently not so unattainable as you’d think.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Summer Kent Stater editorial board.