By Ben Cohen
The time has come when the mainstream news media must be held accountable for it’s content. Having just read that CNN covered them-selves covering Paris Hilton, I have been overwhelmed with a sense of utter despair with the modern version of ‘News’.
Paris Hilton, Lindsey Lohan and all the other C-list brainless celebrities that the American News Channels insist on broadcasting should have no place on a serious network.
When Hilton was ordered to go to jail, all the major news channels devoted hours of coverage to the ordeal, paying for helicopters to circle her house and hordes of journalists to line the streets to catch a glimpse of the hapless blonde.
In the middle of its ‘exclusive coverage’, MSNBC apparently saw fit to air only 15 seconds on the replacement of the Joint Chiefs Chairman, assuring viewers that they would be right back to covering Hilton.
When out of jail, Larry King exclusively interviewed Hilton, booting Michael Moore who was scheduled to talk about ‘Sicko’, his new film about the appalling state of U.S healthcare. After the interview, hours of time was then dedicated to analysing the interview itself. CNN’s Anderson Cooper did an hour long special right after the interview was broadcast, speaking to experts about what the interview symbolized and whether Paris Hilton was being genuine or not.
As posted earlier on this site, some journalists are finally standing up to their producers, but every time I switch on the News (which is rarely these days), at least 15 minutes is dedicated to following mindless celebrity gossip.
And it’s not only the mainstream news media that cashes in on the celebrity X factor. Although it is an excellent source of news and intelligent opinion, ‘The Huffington Post’ regularly posts pictures of Paris Hilton and other celebrity types on its front page, and now has an entire section devoted to entertainment (ie. Hollywood gossip). Of course, this greatly improves the cash flow of the website and makes excellent business sense, but at what cost?
We too are hoping that the ‘The Daily Banter’ becomes a serious name in the blogosphere, and allows us to make a decent living. Having pictures of Angelina Jolie and her latest child plastered all over the front page would be a good way of doing it, but I’d like to think that we could earn money without sacrificing principle. I actually read the article about CNN covering themselves covering Hilton on the Huffington Post, but as you’ll notice (if you’ve clicked the link), they also show a large photo of Hilton, thereby profiting from her image while taking the moral high ground.
Despite her name being mentioned several times (far more than I would like), there are no photos of Paris Hilton on this post.
The way I see it, our job is to provide our readers with informative and serious news, while offering intelligent and humorous opinion without degrading ourselves to make money. Whether Prince William was with his ex-girlfriend at a recent concert, or whether Madonna has started following a new religion has nothing to do with real news.
If the networks don’t care about it, then I guess it’s up to the rest of us. I hope we don’t disappoint.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.