No News Is Celeb News

  For the short time that I have considered myself an adult, I have made an effort to pay attention to the news. I have tried to keep up with current events, however depressing, odd or boring they may be. Yet there is one thing that I have noticed in my days as a news-conscious American. Our news, for lack of a better term, is a load of crap. Yes, we cover the basics like natural disasters, war and elections, but what our 24-hour news cycle pumps out are mostly stories of absolutely no consequence to anyone.               Lately, as I’m sure you are aware, the topic recently has been Charlie Sheen and his tiger blood. Before that there was Tiger Woods’ lady addiction and Britney Spears’ head-shaving fiasco. I am ashamed to say that whenever I turned on the “news” channels, I was exposed not to the goings-on of the nation or the world, but instead to the inconsequential lives of celebrities. Now, I may seem to target the United States as the lone perpetrator of this heinous crime, but I have good reason. Other countries do have celebrity gossip and tabloids, but they keep it mostly separate from their major news networks. In Germany, the current scandal is not a drugged-up TV star spouting random catch phrases, but an impassioned debate over academic dishonesty. Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, one of the country’s most popular cabinet members, has been accused of plagiarizing his 2006 doctoral thesis. Now, in the United States, this wouldn’t affect a politician’s career in the least. Our politicians can cheat on their wives, admit to doing drugs, lie and cheat and still remain unscathed. I attribute this immunity to criticism mostly to the overwhelming waves of celebrity news that flood our brains every day and distract us from real news. However, in Germany, there seems to be a much different perspective. The public is outraged and has started mass protests at Parliament. Every news channel, magazine and talk show is inundated not with remarks about Germany’s pop stars, but about academic honesty and accountability to the people.  I think our media could stand to take a serious lesson from this. Just because people are interested in something doesn’t mean they should be. It’s the obligation of news organizations to present… the news. Who knows? Maybe people will actually like it. It is the media’s responsibility to expose the public to actual news, not obnoxious, useless and brain-draining malarkey.