Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Boycott Celebrity "News"

I had this idea today that we should all band together to boycott fake news about celebrities. It has been thrust upon my notice that this is an insidious form of slander, gossip, or detraction that masquerades as news, causing two detrimental effects. First, the spread of such gossip or detraction (for, sadly, the news is often true) is extremely harmful to the culture at large. It increases envy in those who hear it, who rejoice in the misdeeds of the very rich and very famous. This attitude is so common that I accuse no one in particular by mentioning it, but I do want to underscore how serious it is to the soul. Also, as always, gossip kills three parties: the one whose reputation it injures, the one who propagates it, and the one who hears it. Second, in occupying the attention of the media, such reports serve to clog the airways and prevent us from receiving the real news about what is happening in the world. All serious journalists must cringe to see report after report about Britney Spears while truly grave and terrible things happening around the world every day get pushed to the back page of the paper. We should cringe too. However, we should also take action!

Here is my proposed plan of attack: Refuse to buy any publication that has celebrity gossip on the front page or in a prominent place (I assume that everyone here already avoids tabloids and entertainment/celebrity magazines). If you happen to be watching the news on television and a report about a celebrity comes on, change the channel. Never click on any link or online advertisement having to do with a celebrity. If people are talking about such reports, try to change the subject (in a charitable way, of course). Pass this message on to your friends. I know this problem is so widespread that it seems naive to think we could make a difference in the U.S. entertainment culture, but I think it's worth it to make an attempt. We have to build a culture of life!

What do y'all think?

6 comments:

Andy Bodoh said...

Celebrity news is so boring anyway. Its right up (or down)there with reality TV and million dollar game shows. Why do you think I spend my time starting arguments on this blog? Its a much more interesting diversion.

Of course, celeb news might make more sense to me if I could remember any of their names for more that two seconds.

Fezzick said...

I think this is an admirable idea, but I would also put forward the concept that celebrity gossip pollutes channels of real news, and that in itself is a good enough reason to boycott it. As a man who reads the news for a living, I find it disheartening that it's easier to find coverage of Britney Spears' divorce or Paris Hilton's jail escapades than it is for me to find news on Hillary's latest attempt on socialized medicine. Celebrity news makes the public more accustomed to news that doesn't matter, and that is a severe tragedy.

Andy Bodoh said...

Furthmore, by defining a the escapades of a celebrity qua celebrity as "important", i.e. "newsworthy" and directing public conversation towards such things, you make reaction more a virtue that thinking (i.e. pursuit of truth).

Fezzick said...

I think you're absolutely right. But the bottom line, as far as tabloids are concerned, is best summed up in the line from This is Spinal Tap: "Money talks and bull**** walks." These corporations keep selling us the celebrity gossip because we keep buying it. The money is talking, talking loud and clear.

Andy Bodoh said...

I absolutely agree. My comment was only regarding the secondary, cultural efect of the phenonema.

bakerstreetrider said...

Sure, count me in.