News coverage needs a priority check

By Jonathan Deesing, Staff Writer

Fascinating and crucial news happens every day. Unfortunately we rarely see it. What we do see is an embarrassing parade of celebrities doing stupid things.

We were all certainly subjected to the spectacle of Michael Jackson’s unfortunate death. I say unfortunate not because I lament him dying, but because of the time his face spent on all major news outlets; replacing much more important news of the days and weeks that followed.

Ironically, all of these news outlets were the very same people leading the demand for his head in a child molestation scandal only four years prior.

But maybe they just did that to fill a slow news day.

During Jackson’s highly publicized trial in 2005, North Korea announced that it possessed nuclear weapons. The BTK killer was apprehended after 31 years. A French law was passed requiring teachers to portray French colonialism in a positive light. Ten students were killed in the Red Lake High School massacre. Slow news indeed.

It’s no one’s fault but our own. We can blame the media for burying important stories behind garbage and filth, but they only do that because it pleases us. Gail Wynand, the iconic newspaper man of Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead explained the he had to sell his soul to please his public. He had to publish trite stories masquerading as “news” to remain in business. Nearly seven decades later, our newspapers have made no effort to stray away from that tradition.

When Michael Jackson’s death was no longer a hot piece, magazines published special editions dedicated to his memory. To this day it is still happening. I’m willing to bet they leave out the part where he shared his bed with young boys after a glass of warm milk.

Every day I turn on the TV or open a paper, I feel that I’m not being informed about the news, but rather that I’m watching Letterman’s “Stupid Human Tricks.” A football player shot himself in a club. Another football player funded a dog-fighting ring.

So what can we do? Nothing really; but we can try. By not supporting drivel and the banal garbage we see on TV and in the papers every day. By not becoming offended when the president of the United States doesn’t address the issue of a dead pop-star.

But ultimately it comes down to us having a desire to be informed beyond the daily happenings of celebrities and socialites. And it doesn’t matter what you’re thinking, because the issue is “black or white.”

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Jonathan Deesing