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Dr. Cheryl Pappas Headshot

Take it Inside: Could The News Survive Without Celebrity Fights?

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What would happen to the news if celebrity fighting was removed from the headlines?

Would people stop reading or watching television news if John McCain's threat to beat up Glen Beck was a private matter, rather than appearing in a headline? What about if Britney Spears had parents who expressed their concerns about her outside of the media? Same for Lindsay Lohan. How would news survive if Anderson Cooper dealt directly with Stephan Colbert, taking up the matter in a private conversation, away from an audience? How would the front page of the news exist without some famous big mouth blasting someone else's reputation or providing negative hallucinations about Obama's family and place of birth?

Apart from the serious matter of broadcasting the end of true personal communication and real conflict resolution between people, my question is:
How would the news survive without media figures duking it out in headlines on the front pages of newspapers?

What is reported as "news" in America seems to fall into 3 categories today.
  1. The headlines of bombs, killings, acts of horror in other parts of the world.
  2. The deterioration of our own economy.
  3. Celebrity hate fests, highlighting hate and name-calling.

It doesn't take either a rocket scientist or a conspiracy theorist to imagine that all of these feud may be fictions to grab easy public attention for the celebrities involved, while also serving as insipid distractions for a weary, shell-shocked American public.

Unfortunately, the entertainment value of headlining feuds goes further into the American psyche sets the scene for normalizing rage between people. It role models a nastiness which is easily seen mimicked in our non-celebrity society between plain old real people.

I think it's a problem and a wasteful distraction. What do you think?