Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Where I Draw The Line

By the title of this blog, this is about my journey into the fandom of Clay Aiken, a young man who was catapulted into the spotlight by appearing American Idol. I sometimes wonder, knowing what he knows now, if Clay would have stepped foot out of Raleigh and gone before the judges in Atlanta. I usually come to the conclusion that he would. He has been able to accomplish so much good in the past five years.

Being a Clay fan, you get kind of used to the media. They twist, they turn, they edit to fit their own agenda. They print truth, part truth and outright lies. This blog is not meant to address the current rumor
du jour, it's not my place because, quite honestly, it's none of my business. I would, however, like to take this opportunity to address the media in a general sense. Over the last several years there has been a spike in the amount of tabloid journalism (and I use the word "journalism" lightly) out there.

I think that people who work for places like
TMZ, The Star, National Enquirer, etc. are simply missing part of their soul. Harsh? Probably, but I honestly believe that anyone who could make a living out of delving into another human being's privacy is lacking basic human decency.

I also believe that people who derive entertainment from these outlets are also lacking. Those who gleefully read Perez Hilton's hateful blog also have hate in their hearts. They may not see it, and they will be the last to admit it, but anyone who can draw any type of entertainment from vile and hurtful gossip is missing a core part of their being.

The press is completely out of control. Gone are the days of journalistic integrity. That has been replaced with the need for ratings, the need to break the story (whether true or not), the need to get the photo. Sometimes these needs cross the line. Sometimes these needs are so invasive it would be unimaginable for any of us living our day to day lives. At times it is downright scary.

Oh, but they're CELEBRITIES!!! They're asking for it, right? I pay their salary - I buy their CD, go to their concert, see their movie, read their book. Sorry, I don't buy it. The money I spend at the grocery store pays the cashier's salary, but I have no business knowing what goes on in their personal life. I don't care if they're making minimum wage or millions of dollars. Celebrity gossip and tabloid rumor is nothing but an attempt to discredit and ruin people. In case you missed it, the key word there is PEOPLE. Human beings who love, hate, laugh and cry - just like everyone else.

Here's my fix. I believe that the laws need to be changed. If the press is given a tip, and it has no bearing on national security or any type of criminal activity but is merely the raping of
someones privacy, they should be required to name their source. How much do you want to bet that the tabloids would go out of business? I know it will never happen, but I find it very difficult to believe that our forefathers were protecting the press when it came to speculating on who is sleeping with whom, who is cheating on whom, who is in drug rehab, who is having a baby and how that baby was conceived.

View the following and you tell me - out of control? The sad part is it more than likely won't stop until someone gets hurt - oh yeah, that's already happened......
(song Dirty Laundry, written by Don Henley, performed by Lisa Marie Presley *who most certainly has had her share too*)


Deona said...

Wow! Great article and video. A powerful and sobering message.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Imagine living that day to day. Someone constantly egging you, trying to get unflattering pictures of you. No privacy at all. No need to prove a story or a statement. Let's make fun of you because we can, and lets see if we can hurt your career. Then people wonder why the celebrities run over their feet with their cars and lose control.

kielbasa said...

The press is completely out of control.

Pretty much sums up my feelings, too, suereu. I posted somewhere recently that "journalistic inegrity" is the new oxymoron.

When will our society have had enough of this drivel, and rise up together to combat the lies and dirt and gossip and hate so prevalent in today's media. It's not just the Star, TMZ, Enquirer-types anymore, either. What used to be respected news sources are stooping to join the lowest common denominator (Newsweek, anyone?).

It used to make me sad. Now, it's really pissing me off.

We need a strong and united movement in our culture to boycott all media that continue to profit from rumor, innuendo and invasion of privacy.

Anonymous said...

Great blog! Right on the money with the media and journalism. The video and lyrics are so appropriate.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more and have also often thought that freedom of the press should not, and was never intended by our founding fathers, to protect character assasination. You should have to stand naked just like the person you attack and answer for your words.

I also believe that trespassing laws should be extended to cover the taking of photographs on private property, especially through a window or gate of someone's home. Just because we have the electronic means to go there, doesn't mean we have the right to.

nzclaynz said...

This blog is excellent - it's a pity more people aren't willing to do something like this and let the media know that it's just not okay!

They claim it's all about supply and demand - and to some extent that's true. But if they didn't do it, people would get by just fine. It's all about "show me the money!"

Yes, I do believe there's a need for publicity for celebrities; they need the press to some extent. But hiding in cars, peering over fences and intimidation to get the scoop are not admirable skills IMHO.

And the crap they make up should not be allowed - tabloids do this with impunity, knowing that they likely won't be sued because the complainant has to prove "malice". The very nature of such writing is malice; the very nature of harrassing celebrities till they crack is malicious in the extreme. Yet a celebrity who's career or personal life is damaged by this is the one who has to prove that it was malicious - oh give me a break!

Yes, we're interested in celebrities - but most of us don't want to see them get hurt emotionally or physically all for the sake of the latest scoop...

'Kay, sorry, my rant is over. But this crap pisses me off.

Thanks again so much for this blog.

Anonymous said...

True true true-
we've lost good journalism -
training to become a reporter now
requires reading fiction novels.
Sad Sad world -
love the video

Anonymous said...

Journalistic integrity? We have to go to a museum to see it unfotunately.

Everything you wrote is the truth.

Martigyrl said...

WOW, you and I think alike. I have a high disregard for the media. I hate the fact that they aren't held accountable for their tabloid ism reporting.Sure glad to have read your blog.
We need to have responsible journalism back into our lives. I'm not sure that will ever happen again.