Celeb news, isn’t

As an assistant news editor I am generally told what is newsworthy. But that doesn’t stop me from being horrified by what the general public looks for in the news.

The legitimization of celebrity news by supposedly serious news outlets is downright scary, and it has been this way for quite some time.

Jessica Simpson’s shockingly abnormal weight gain is thought to be an appropriate topic to be placed next to a story about President Obama. CNN, once the ultimate source of all things newsworthy, apparently considers Tiger Woods’ extramarital affairs deserving of the public’s attention.

And God forbid Britney Spears leaves the car without underwear on—again.

Am I the only one who sees a problem with this?

Granted, I’m guilty of having a sick obsession with celebrity gossip too. I’ve been known to enjoy reading/allowing my brain to be turned to mush by Perez Hilton just as much as anyone else.

I’m not proud to say I engage in the voyeurism of celebrity culture during my leisure time. But when did mindlessly reading this garbage become a form of appropriate behaviour?

A frightening majority of the educated, intelligent people I know are shamelessly admitting their love for the characters on MTV’s newest reality disaster Jersey Shore; characters who I hope are playing up their mind-numbing, logic-defying, STI-welcoming actions.

The frightening thing is that many people, young and old, don’t even realize that these “reality” characters are pseudo-celebrities. Kate Gosselin, Nicole ‘Snooki’ Polizzi and Bachelorette number 500 to name a few are all featured prominently on television, magazines, and for what?

Apparently the sacrifice of dignity is now sufficient justification to warrant public attention. While these types of people mercilessly offer their lives and often exploit their own children for our enjoyment, it is our choice to buy into these trainwrecks.

We are the ones who watch their shows, read about them in magazines, and are addicted to following literally every aspect of their lives. It is my hope that at some point in the near future we will start looking up to people who have worked hard and deserve our respect, instead of the money-grubbing, attention-seeking Lindsay Lohans of the world.

When will our generation start to form opinions about real issues, issues that we have the power to change? Our endless fascination with these celebrities could be put to a much better use.

For the sake of the intelligence and respectability of my generation, I hope that if reality stars whose IQ is seriously questionable continue to stick around, we can all just acknowledge their idiocy and allow them to fade into obscurity… at least until they make a new sex tape.

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