Monday, August 06, 2007

Idle threat of the week

Regular readers have probably already noticed, but I've given the panel of judges the summer off. It's the least I can do for the service they perform, anonymously, at their own expense. Although finding a suitable idle threat of week all by myself is a difficult task. Especially in the summer months, when people are more likely to be lounging on the beach than making threats with no validity.

Luckily the intellectual delusions of the public is a year round affair. How else can you explain this survey, which finds 87 percent of respondents claim celebrity scandals receive "too much coverage" and, among those who do, the majority blames the media -- and the media alone -- for this perceived over-saturation?

Don't these poll responders realize, in these days of Tivo and click counters, news organization have a fairly good idea of the stories people are actually paying attention to? And that, in this new media landscape, advertising dollars aren't going to endlessly follow the stories people think they should be paying attention to?

If anyone should be unhappy with "legitimate" media's incursion into the life and times of Lindsay Lohan it should be me. While I would like to be the first place everyone goes for the latest updates and sharpest insight into the troubled actress, how can I compete when Slate is offering a 500 person focus group as part of their analysis of her exploits?

Anyway, if you really are the type of person (I'm sure there are a few) who doesn't care about how crazy Britney Spears is, how would you even know the extent to which she is being covered? Because if you truly had no interest you would, at first glimpse of her bald head, immediately switch channels, click onto a different web site, or move to another section of the paper. This migration takes all of a matter of seconds. Trust me, I make it every time I come across anything about "health care."

For threatening to pawn their Paris Hilton obsession off on the evil fourth estate, a plurality of the American public wins idle threat of the week for July 30th to August 5th. Not only that, they owe the media apology. Your precious water cooler wouldn't be such a refuge if you had to talk about war and politics all the time. And, thanks to the mass media, there is finally something that all Americans can agree on: Paris Hilton is a skank.

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