Blogging Like I've Never Blogged Before

Thursday, December 30, 2004

I'm not much of a comment leaver on other blogs, and I nearly left a comment to this post, but then I realized it would be too long. So go read the post and then come back.

Don't hate her because she's beautiful. The biggest problem here is the headline. "Tsunamis shatter celebrity holidays". It's a horrible headline, but the fact that celebrities were there is news. It's human interest. It may not seem like much to we here in America that an Australian rules football player was there, but if a New York Yankee was there, we'd be hearing about that. I'm sure many are interested in a Swedish skiing great that is probably dead. The headline makes it seem like a bunch of celebrities were there and said, "Oh, this tsunami has fouled my holiday! Get me on the first jet to the West!"

What is unfair about this post is that it shows a picture of Petra Nemcova, pre-tsunami, where yes, she is gorgeous and pretty and smiling. The woman spent eight hours clinging to a tree while she had a broken hip. Her boyfriend is probably dead. Are there worse stories? Plenty. Is she luckier than most? Indeed. She gets to eventually go home where she has family and money and better doctors. And the people in the other pictures are probably much worse off than she is. But still, it is news. We can't possibly hear about every story about every family that is suffering.

Yesterday I pointed out the headline on ESPN, "Swimsuit model survives tsunami; toll at 60,000" because it is a ridiculous headline, especially when you see the headlines that were above it, like "Trade talks for Big Unit back on".

This line, "Is our culture so sick that we'll fixate on a pretty European model and a few athletes?" is also inaccurate. Are we fixating on them? It's one headline in a sea of thousands. A story that has gotten more coverage is the Swedish boy who was reunited with his father. Let's face it. If that kid wasn't cute and white, we wouldn't know about it. There are probably hundreds that are orphaned. Journalists have a responsibility to report the big news, and then find every different possible angle of that news. Celebrities are one tiny part of a gigantic story.

There are plenty of things to criticize the media about. Yesterday on Fox News, between reports about the tsunami, they interviewed Motley Crue.

They interviewed Motley Crue.

Between reports about the tsunami.

They interviewed Motley Crue.

With all the 24 hour news agencies, there are going to be things that are idiotic. But I don't think reporting on people that are in the public eye who happened to be part of a tragedy, is one of those things.

That's my comment.
All material © Mike Toole; 2003 - 2006