Few people seem to recognize the absurdity of media coverage focused on such “breaking stories” as the death of Anna Nicole Smith and Paris Hilton’s jail saga. Accordingly, popular media outlets seem to be meeting the demands quite well. Recently, however, MSNBC news anchor Mika Brzezinski refused to spend previous air-time on talking about Ms. Hilton: MSNBC Anchor Tears Up Paris Script (includes ad playback).
While I admire the effort, I found the whole video to be rather creepy. First, rather than just moving on with other stories, Mika just reiterated her refusal to read the script. Worse, the two goofball guys just egg her on. It felt more like these guys were at a Spring Break soiree trying to get a woman to take off her top. They could have chosen to be supportive, or to oppose her. But, this was a bit insulting. It’s also interesting to see how quickly and completely these seemingly confident newscasters lose their composure when they can’t stick to the script.
I was at a party once when a friend commented on how he hated seeing all of the coverage of the Virginia Tech Massacre. When I asked him if his TV had an on/off switch (or at least one that allowed for changing the channel), his response wasn’t exactly enlightened: “Well, yeah, but I still wish they didn’t show it.” Incidentally, the guy’s wife mentioned that he was the one that was glued to the TV for almost four hours.
So what was the public response to one journalist’s fight for integrity? Here’s one follow-up: Reporter Hailed for Killing Hilton Story.