American interested in celebrity gossip and tabloid trash seems to be at an all-time high. While I can’t cite any specific statistics, it’s a safe assumption that people are far more concerned with every minute detail of Britney Spears’ life than on issues related to our quagmire in Iraq and the millions of people that have been directly affected by it. CNN reports on some details in Many make millions off Britney’s escapades. From the article:
In the days after the Britney Spears soap opera rode a police-escorted gurney to its apex, celeb-mag sales spiked, traffic jammed gossip Web sites, tabloid TV ratings rose and paparazzi photo prices surged.
Britney Spears generates enough interest — and money — to keep a whole industry afloat. For a growing number of people and businesses, Britney’s saga is about money: Every time she sinks to new lows, cash flows. And these days, no one is above the fray.
When a custody dispute devolved into a three-hour standoff at Spears’ home January 3, police officers and firefighters were pressed into duty. Television stations sent up helicopters, and cable news anchors reported the unfolding drama in real time. The Associated Press had two reporters working the story, with editors on both coasts updating it seven times throughout the night.
What bothers me most about this is that I have friends that claim to be annoyed by the quantity and frequency of tabloid gossip coverage in mainstream news. These are the same people, however, who have watched it for hours and constantly bring it up in conversation. They refer to Britney Spears as if she were a close relative and gain huge levels of self-satisfaction from their feelings of superiority.
The biggest issues in the United States aren’t happening in Hollywood Rebhab or wherever Ms. Spears is currently residing. We have a whole different level of B.S. to deal with, as evidenced in Bush’s State of the Union speech.