Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The AP flirts with a dangerous standard

A week ago, according to an internal memo, the AP experimented with banning Paris Hilton from their all-encompassing brand of news coverage.

The edict, which acknowledged Paris had been appearing on their wire about "twice a week," included a provision for something "big," and lasted until yesterday's report Paris was arrested for night driving with no headlights and a suspended license. (She faces jail time -- yeah right.)

The Associated Press isn't the first news organization to put the kibosh on Paris Hilton coverage. The New York Daily News -- a tabloid -- tried last year. The ban lasted until the gossip editor who instituted it was let go.

I'm sure there isn't a relevant editor out there who hasn't thought about declaring his jurisdiction a Paris-free zone. Reason being Paris Hilton has no discernible talent, isn't remarkable looking or sartorially relevant (at least not in this country,) and is, for all practical purposes, a mute and seems to be evil -- but not in an intriguing Hannibal Lector or Richard Nixon kind of way.

Worst of all she refuses to engage in the over-the-top, cry-for-help, make-you-feel-better-about-your-own-life, self-destructiveness her equally idle celebutante colleagues so dutifully promote. To me this lack of sacrifice -- especially during war time -- is Paris's greatest sin.

That being said, if you find yourself circulating memos about whether or not to cover Paris Hilton, you have to cover Paris Hilton.

What if the media did stop covering her? You don't think Brand Paris would strike back and start doing the completely outrageous head-shaving, clown-make-up-wearing things she has so far stayed away from?

Considering the amount of attention she has been able to garner without playing that card, I can only imagine the horror, destruction and gonorrhea she will unleash if she is forced to show her full deck.

Ban Brangelina, ban the word "teh", ban Iran coverage but, for the good of the nation, don't try to shut Paris Hilton out.

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