My question is really quite simple. I’ve asked it of countless audiences in the last few days – friends, family, clients, strangers, my neighbors, my pastor, my nanny, my doctor:
Is Levi Johnston’s indiscretion on the Tyra Banks Show really “news”?
Everyone (literally, every single person with whom I broached this) agrees: No.
Interestingly, an alarming number of news publications and websites disagree. As of this writing, hundreds of articles and posts have been written about Mr. Johnston’s appearance. As you would expect, the National Enquirer, People and US magazine all jumped on the story. It’s their “beat,” as you might hear in a newsroom.
But I learned of the Johnston interview on CNN, then read about it in USA Today. A quick Google search indicates the Baltimore Sun, Chicago Tribune, Seattle Times, MSNBC,Today Show, and a whole slew of other reputable “news” outlets jumped on this garbage pile.
With our new president making his first trip to Europe, our nation’s economy continuing to swirl in the bowl and the national championship in college basketball on the line, was Tyra Banks’ desperate dig for details of premarital sex in the governor’s mansion really worthy of the pixels, column inches and airtime it received?
All of us have prurient interests – I don’t deny that and don’t want to posture that I am somehow immune. But as traditional news outlets – dare I say (as does James Earl Jones) trusted news outlets increasingly cover talent show outcomes and imprudent celebrity outbursts, who is left to bring us the actual news?
(Before my Father posts a comment below, be assured that Fox News found Johnston as irresistible as did the young Palin.)
You tell me, because I surely don’t know.
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