What Passes As News

Okay, so last week, we had the death of whatever that lady's name was, and that was good for a 48-hour news cycle or so. Yes, I really can't recall it without looking the name up, and I feel no inclination to do so. Now, we have somebody else (whose name I do remember, but don't feel like typing... and yes, this aside is significantly longer than her name) shaving her head, and that counts as news, too.

Meanwhile, I'm just sitting here and asking, "Why?" I had the same thought a week or so ago while listening to Constitutional Public Radio, when it was brought up in a segment that some second-in-line-to-dictator thug was interviewed, and the news outlet had a list of what was on his iPod. Isn't there enough going on in the world that's actually worth reporting on?

I'm quite sure that there are people out there who care what some celebrity had for breakfast this morning, but even I, young as I am, can remember a time when that kind of story was relegated several sections back in any given newspaper. In other words, the real news actually sat on page A1, instead of vying for space and headlines with Arts&Entertainment. What this tells me, and mayhap I'm just reading too much into it, is that the desire of a significant portion of the population to be entertained is at least as great as their desire to be informed... In fact, it's probably greater, but the newspapers haven't really caught on to that fact yet.

Now, I'm not saying that a person can't be both informed and entertained. What I'm trying to get at is the perceived equality of the celebrity story of the day versus, say, what's going on in Washington, or Iraq, for that matter. One of these things, as the saying goes, is not like the others.

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