Media Stuff I Can't Stand: Summer Edition
It's deep in the summer doldrums and I'm technically on vacation. But even while kicking back at my mother-in-law's Indiana home, I've faced enough media-based BS to get me going.
So, to keep the blog from going totally dark, here my list of media stuff that's got me P.O.'ed right now.
1) Journalists complaining about having to cover Paris Hilton
First, MSNBC news anchor Mika Brzezenski rips up a report on Hilton leaving jail during a morning news break, and then Anderson Cooper cracks jokes about Hilton coverage minutes after Larry King scored the biggest ratings of the year quizzing the celebutante on air.
I just wish journalists would learn to treat this story like a STORY. We don't need helicopter coverage of her leaving jail, but we also don't need journalists pretending this isn't a story when, clearly, Hilton's brief imprisonment is something that has captured the public's attention. It isn't as if this is the first celebrity to go to jail or get out of one -- why is news media attention either full bore or totally absent?
2) Isaiah Washington Playing the Race Card
Let's say you're a talented actor on a hit TV show, dumb enough to use a homophobic slur during an on set argument. Let's say you're also dumb enough to repeat that slur to the world's press while telling the lie that the argument never happened. When you get fired, who do you blame?
Of course, you blame racism.
That's what Washington is expected to say at 9 p.m. Monday night, when he goes on Larry King Live, ostensibly to talk about some independent film he's making now. But most of the questions will focus on his recent dismissal, claims that he was targeted by Hollywood's powerful white gay establishment, and recent claims that his struggle is comparable to Paul Robeson and Malcolm X. Sigh.
I think Robeson and Malcolm would tell him to take some responsiblity and stop blaming others for his own bone-headed mistakes.
3) Network TV's Summer Schedules
Reality shows featuring celebrity lookalikes, mediocre comics and dog acts. Episodes of scripted TV shows too lame to make an impact during the regular TV season. And interviews with the likes of British princes and Paris Hilton.
That's what winds up clogging network television during the summer, as broadcasters try desperately to fool us into thinking they can offer showsworth watching 12 months of the year. Sure, new episodes of the Closer, The 4400, Rescue Me and other cable shows can help alleviate the pain.
But there is really no cure for the queasy feeling which comes from seeing that America's Got Talent is television's most-watched series of the moment. At least, until Big Brother starts up again.