Friday, March 04, 2005

Annals of news history

Unless you've been living under a large slab of stratified rock, you know that Martha Stewart has been released from prison.

My question, and it's a journalistic one, is this:
What is it about this story that justifies it being a wall-to-wall, front-page mega-event? Why must members of the media constantly fall all over themselves to "cover" non-events like this?
(I know, I actually asked two questions. Sorry about that. It's Friday. I'm tired.)

The bottom line is simple, and doesn't require a whole lot of Wolf Blitzer's so-called analysis: She broke the law. She paid her debt to society. Enough.

Yes, I'm annoyed, because I believe it taints the entire industry. We are now all painted with the same brush of disdain we have traditionally used to dismiss the tabloids.

Thoughts?

12 comments:

Swenson said...

Why do you tag all of your posts on Engadget? I appreciate you posts as much as anyone else's but it's distracting and disrespectful to throw tags around like that. Why do you think they allow you to enter your address when you post? So it will create a link from your name at the top of the post like everyone else.

Carmi said...

Short answer: that's my signature. The site's terms of use don't say anything about signatures being distracting or disrespectful. I'll politely agree to disagree with you.

The real question is: What do you think Martha would do? Would she use her signature when posting to a web site? Would she wrap it in pink tafetta? Would she make candlesticks in the process?

Dean said...

I agree with you, Carmi. About the Martha debacle, that is. I mean, who cares?

Lots of people, I guess. I don't get it.

Supergirl said...

I asked myself the same question this morning when I was stuck in the car shop, watching some crazy version of a CNN morning show.

Though, the real question is why is it that when the news announces that she is now fifty BILLION dollars richer after having stayed in jail for five months teaching yoga class to inmates...everyone in the entire room laughs and shakes their heads?

Martha's a big, giant joke.

CanEragon said...

There is the difference between journalism in the U.S. and Canada. They will cover just about anything to get viewers to watch. It's called "insanity!" That's why I live in Canada now...

Jeremy

A Woman Changed said...

Martha is big news because we Americans are fascinated with fame and power. Why else would Paris Hilton be splattered everywhere in the media? We've become a silly, idolizing society and the breadth of media outlets has been the enabler. We ask for it, they provide, and because of their widespread reach, it's everywhere.
Why doesn't the media do stories on teachers and the impact they make on childrens' lives every single day? Because we have deemed that to be BORING. We are receiving what we asked for and shame on us.

A Woman Changed said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Natsthename said...

At one point this morning, every network morning news show was doing a story about Stewart. I turned off the TV. I really don't care about anything she does.

Janet said...

The irony being if I address this here and now, I too will be giving the story more attention than it deserves.:)

Jef said...

Ultimately, it boils down to money. What will sell the most papers, bring the most viewers, etc. Secondly, she is a woman who half of the country worships for her creative genius, or despises because of her success. Everyone knows who Martha Stewart. She is a brand in the same way Michael Jackson is a brand. Why else would there be so much about his trial.

You make a good point about Martha; she broke the law, but do most people consider it a serious crime? The speed limit on the highway in Atlanta is 55mph, but who actually drives 55mph or less? I do wonder if anyone else had been in Martha's predicament what the outcome would have been. Would that person have gone to jail? If so, for a shorter or longer amount of time? Moreover, I think her trial makes us all look at ourselves and ask, "If I had thought that I would have gotten away with it, would I have done the same thing? And would I have lied when I got caught?" They're questions we may not be comfortable asking ourselves.

Orbitron19 said...

Carmi,
I just ranted about the same thing on my blog, but there's one thing about the Martha Stewart thing that made me a little upset. I was watching the coverage of her release on NBC when it hit me--NBC, MSNBC & Newsweek are all the same company--they have a vested interest in this because NBC has the new Martha Stewart TV show. They put Martha on the cover of Newsweek, talk about her on the Today Show & 'Countdown' and 'Hardball' and MAKE HER the top news story. I was so upset when I realized that I was watching an infomercial for her new enterprises with NBC. (Or am I just a cynic?)

SquareSlant said...

I don’t know if there’s ever been a more important time for journalists to be good at what they do; to cover the important stories, to educate the public, to ferret out what is happening around the world and report back to the public “news” that affects our lives.

It is just sad that some "journalist" and some "news agencies" think Martha and M. Jackson are worthy subjects.