Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The Media Focus

Normally, I don't make it a point to discuss celebrity news. Frankly, I've always thought that celebrity news (mostly in the form of gossip; who's sleeping with whom, who's in rehab, etc.) is a strategically used ploy to distract us from the more important issues that the AVERAGE person has to face. Don't believe me?

Who is this person?



















Now, who is this person?




















The first is Britney Spears, a spoiled, untalented loon who has as many mental issues as she has stacks of hundred dollar bills at her disposal. The other person is Andrew Olmsted; one of Jared's blogging buddies who was recently killed in Iraq during this nonsensical war. He is joined by the mounting list of U.S. casualties that continues to grow daily.

In everybody's defense (I guess), it's impossible to know the names and stories of each solider who has fought, continue to fight, get hurt, and die in this war and in wars past. Oppositely, celebs are household names; internationally famous for what they do. Still, we should be mindful that while we're glued to the tube to see our favorite stars (or other socially insignificant stuff which, I hate to say includes...gulp...sports), another person has been hurt or killed who will receive little if any fanfare.

Montel Williams was quick to bring the media to task for it in this clip:



(I wonder if it's a coincidence that his show was also cancelled...?)

I don't presume to know how we can adequately honor people who have suffered and died; especially through the media. But after watching this clip, I have to ask myself how often my misguided priorities dishonor their sacrifice. Does my knowing about Heath Ledger's death but not Andrew Olmstead's make me any better that the media who only cover the former? What about you?

- ACL

13 "Insiders" spoke their mind. Join in...:

Joanne said...

You can actually apply to same principle to ANYTHING facing us. That's the sad part.

My daughter is a teacher. As a part of an assignment, she asked the class the names of a few celebrities she had pictures of. They got them all correct. Shortly after that, she asked to name the state representatives she had pictures of. Nobody got them right. Its a sad day of affairs.

TOR Hershman said...

Andre, if'in ye bes an "aspiring intellectual,' you should read moi's wee blog and/or view moi's YouTube films/research.

Stay on groovin' safari,
Tor

Anonymous said...

Bravo for Montel , at least he has the berries to stand up and bring this to the light , people need to get priorities straight, ,people who die protecting you and your families should be given more respect and interest it should be be more important to get that message out more than who took what in Hollywood and at what time . I also believe /think it is political that more is not released to the press in order to downplay the wars HUMAN LOSS! wouldnt want anyone in office to look BAD!



G
LAter GAtor (*wink*)

heiresschild said...

i always think it's a shame that so much emphasis is given to celebs, whether they be entertainers, movie stars, or athletes, and people in our own neighborhoods get gunned down, raped, or sent to die in the war, yet not too much info is given on them, and better yet, the world doesn't care.

Jay Leno has a segment on his show called "jaywalking," and last nite, they had pics of the candidates running for office, and the people they asked were so stupid, they either didn't know or couldn't remember the names. some couldn't even name Hilliary Clinton. now what does that say?

i applaud Montel for his stance, but i can't stand his show, and i'm glad it's being cancelled. wow, did i really say that? on the other hand, some of the other shows like Maury Povich and Jerry Springer need to be taken off the air also.

beachgirl said...

Andre that is a sad state of affairs for sure.
My "wusband" is now doing active duty training for his reserve unit. They will be deployed some time in the next year. My "wusband" is a physician. The cost of the little excursion that he says will only be 4 months is his medical practice. In those 4 months he will loose his patients in a practice that he has had for 5 years. He hasn't told the kids yet. The sad part is he says and believes that it will only be 4 months. I know other medical professionals who were told the same thing. One in particular lost her therapy practice. It seems the 6 months they told her turned into 2 years. She gets out next week. But can be recalled any time they wish.
We have also lost several friends from our time in the Army years ago. I am very patriotic for sure. And find myself being an Officers wife again. Not something I was looking forward to for sure. Thank God my kids are grown now.

God Bless this country.

Deb S. said...

My heart breaks at the loss of still another life, someone who also contributed to the blogosphere. We have to give faces to our military men and women. They are more than numbers.

KC said...

I agree with Heiresschild in that Montel's show as pretty horrendous. So I don't think his show's cancellation had anything to do with this segment. But that's not to say that Montel won't have to deal with SOMETHING from being a truth teller; especially on Fox News. He won't be back on there for a while. In a related note, it should be pointed out that though it was implied that Montel would be back after the commercial break, he wasn't. Now THAT was no coincidence.

saved sinner said...

Way to go Montel! It's always refreshing to see the media get theirs. It makes it a little more refreshing to see it happen on Fox News. All that notwithstanding, he makes incredibly valid points.

We sadly live in a society of superficiality and where we live out vicarious fantasies through the famous. So when average people follow these celebs, they escape into a world that is NOT theirs, while forgetting about the world that IS theirs. Never mind our dismal economy, inadequate health care, a costly and violent war, and crime in the streets (and on Wall St.)...those things aren't important, apparently. But when a celebrity dies, every news outlet in the country zeros in.

Cynthia said...

The facts are undeniable: when you're rich and famous, your life and death are focused on; when you're poor, you're a statistic.

Ledger's death was horrible and tragic (especially now that it's been labeled as accidental). But what about people who are raped and killed, abducted, who go to bed every night without food, medicine, and adequate housing? Why should their suffering be any less newsworthy?

Montel has started something by putting the truth into the spotlight. But will anybody listen? I hope so, but I'm not counting on it.

Andre said...

@ Joanne: "...she asked the class the names of a few celebrities she had pictures of. They got them all correct. Shortly after that, she asked to name the state representatives she had pictures of. Nobody got them right.

If it makes you feel any better, lately, I've wanted to forget all about my state reps. I'm just sayin'...

@ Tor: Talk like a Pirate has come and gone, dawg. But welcome to my spot anyway. I'll definitely roll by your place as well. Gaaaar!

@ Greeny: Havin' trouble logging in? Blogger has been pretty funny acting lately.

At any rate, you said:

"...I also believe /think it is political that more is not released to the press in order to downplay the wars HUMAN LOSS! wouldnt want anyone in office to look BAD!"

I completely concur. It appears that my political disdain is starting to rub off on you. Mwuyhahahaha! *Cue the thunder & lightning*

@ Sylv: "...people in our own neighborhoods get gunned down, raped, or sent to die in the war, yet not too much info is given on them, and better yet, the world doesn't care."

Amen. Oddly, you'd think it was the opposite; that we'd be more concerned with people more like us; people with whom we have more commonality. I guess not.

"...i can't stand his show, and i'm glad it's being cancelled. wow, did i really say that? on the other hand, some of the other shows like Maury Povich and Jerry Springer need to be taken off the air also."

True dat. Montel's show was pretty dismal. But you're also correct in saying that most talk shows are. Tyra, Jerry, Maury, Rachel Ray, etc. all need the ax (to the head at least).

@ Carol: Your story further emphasizes my point. Here we have people sacrificing their way of life for a greater cause and the only fanfare they get is in the comment section of my unknown blog. Oppositely, Brit, Paris, Lindsey, and these other insipid celebs get plastered all over the place for being shallow and vaccuous. I just dont' get it.

@ Deb: "My heart breaks at the loss of still another life, someone who also contributed to the blogosphere."

Very well put.

@ KC: "But that's not to say that Montel won't have to deal with SOMETHING from being a truth teller; especially on Fox News."

Tell me about it. I'm a little shocked that they didn't turn off his mic.

"In a related note, it should be pointed out that though it was implied that Montel would be back after the commercial break, he wasn't."

Hmmm. I wasn't aware of that. That further supports the claim that people simply DO NOT want to be faced with the truth. It stings like bee.

@ Saved: "We sadly live in a society of superficiality and where we live out vicarious fantasies through the famous. So when average people follow these celebs, they escape into a world that is NOT theirs, while forgetting about the world that IS theirs."

Amen, Rob. You hit it on the head.

@ Cyn: "...But what about people who are raped and killed, abducted, who go to bed every night without food, medicine, and adequate housing? Why should their suffering be any less newsworthy?"

I place blame on two groups: the media themselves (hard to single out one lone agent) and the constituents whom they serve. Just like any other market, media attention is driven by the rules of supply and demand. They give us what we want to watch. It's a simple observation, but I think it makes sense out of how and why most of this trash is produced.

nic said...

It's silly that "our" obsession w/ pop culture is only increasing, but I suppose elder generations view(ed) my baggy pants, & piercings as being in the same light. Still, it's sad when I open the front section of the Flint Urinal to find a 1/3 page article written about what Brit's mom has to say on her daughter's antics of the day...and the Flint Urinal's front section is what, 4 pages? *SIGH* Saved Sinner said it best, although I'd take it a step further & claim that there are many within our society trying to be something they're not.

But Montel Williams? Sorry, but I can't bring myself to watch the mouthpiece for Sylvia Brown spout off about anything, regardless if he's on point about something or not. ;)

-n

Andre said...

@ Nic: "...but I suppose elder generations view(ed) my baggy pants, & piercings as being in the same light.

If fashion were the only obsessive issue, I wouldn't be as critical (though, I too have some horror stories about the first time I came to church with an earring). Society's obsession extends to every aspect of life outside of a celebrity's profession.

I always thought that we should appreciate a performer's work on the screen, onstage, or in the studio while leaving their life outside of that as their own. But that's not the case.

Interestingly, too, the world's obsession with celebs only extends to the juicy gossip stuff; not the stories with more substance. For instance, everybody and their momma are focused on Angelina and Brad's romance; but few are focused on their work in Darfur/New Orleans. The human interest stories are not as sexy.

"Still, it's sad when I open the front section of the Flint Urinal to find a 1/3 page article written about what Brit's mom has to say on her daughter's antics of the day..."

Even sadder that you even waste your time reading that nonsense.

"But Montel Williams? Sorry, but I can't bring myself to watch the mouthpiece for Sylvia Brown spout off about anything, regardless if he's on point about something or not."

I'm feeling you on the Sylvia Brown thing. For that matter, his show as a whole is pretty miserable. Still, if he can say something poignant and substancial enough, I'll forgive him. Now Tyra's another story...

On an unrelated note, what's up with your blogging (or lack thereof). You're not trying to pull off a Hippie hiatus, are you...?

The H.C. said...

Hey Dre,
Great Post! I think it's a travesty the way we give so much attention to people that want it, but don't deserve it. My sincere condolences to your friend, anyone who serves his country is a hero in my eyes.