Public opinion drives stupid media buzz

Jen Steer

The saying goes, if a tree falls in the forest and nobody is around, does it make a noise? The same could be said about The Associated Press‘s recent ban on Paris Hilton. So, if the largest news wire in the United States stops covering a media whore, does the world notice?

I’m sad to tell you that the answer to that question is yes. In fact, some people just about go crazy without their continual feed of Paris news right into their bloodstreams.

This is a time when Paris Hilton and Britney Spears dominate the media, and that’s just plain pathetic. The U.S. media has given into peer pressure. Just because everyone else is doing it doesn’t mean you have to too. United States, it looks like you have some self-esteem issues you need to sort out.

On Feb. 19, the AP stopped covering the heiress herself, America’s true princess, Paris Hilton. Oh my goodness, the world is going to come to an end. The ban lasted about a week and ended when Miss Hilton was arrested for driving on a suspended license. There were only three mentions by the AP of Hilton in that week, and they served as background to stories about how the now-bald Britney has lost her mind.

This is nothing like the stand California freelance reporter Josh Wolf has taken on not giving up a video to the court. While Wolf has been held longer than any other journalist in U.S. history, the ban of Paris seems to have a greater impact. The truth is that by Paris not being a story, she became a bigger story.

Anderson Cooper has tried to tell people repeatedly that “there’s a war on,” despite criticism that he is giving into “news guy snobbery.” He was trying to prove the point that he does not have to give in and cover the soap opera drama that is the trial over where to put Anna Nicole’s body.

The press is supposed to be the watchdog of the people and a lot of good it’s doing when the media spends more time on Paris than it does on real issues that could impact the way this country operates. Monitor the government. Make sure officials are doing what they are supposed to. And quit making celebrities the center of attention on CNN.

Thank you, Anderson and the AP. There is a war going on. Thank you for trying to help America with its creepy addiction to entertainment news. Entertainment news, to me, is not real news and I hope for the sake of this country’s future I won’t continue to be in this minority.

But it takes more than just the press to make a change. The public is to blame just as much as anyone on TV. Quit watching crap like “Entertainment Tonight,” and they’ll stop showing what the former Mrs. Federline was drinking the day she shaved her head. So wake up and smell Britney’s stale cigarette breath. We have problems.

Jen Steer is a junior broadcast news major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].