August 21, 2008

Irrelevant and Annoying News

Newsworthy. (n.d.). Unabridged (v 1.1). Retrieved August 21, 2008, from website
of sufficient interest to the public or a special audience to warrant press attention or coverage

I've been disappointed in what has masqueraded as headlines the past few weeks. Two particular items of "news" have been especially bothersome.

I'm saddened that our media thinks John Edwards' affair is newsworthy. Not for the reasons you'd imagine, however. What bothers me is the insensitivity towards Elizabeth Edwards. How must that make her feel as she continues her courageous battle with cancer to have her husband's infidelity splashed all over the media? It breaks my heart to think that aspect was never even considered before spilling their private issues all over the television and print screens. He is out of contention, no longer a candidate, and his personal choices are anything but interesting to me. Other than the people sitting back clucking their tongues with "I knew he was shady and too slick" (as if shady and slick also indicate unfaithful?), I fail to see why we needed to know that he cheated on his wife.

Somewhat related to this are the statistics, about 60 percent of men and 40 percent of women will have an affair at some point in some marriage "Monogamy Myth", Therapist Peggy Vaughan. Additionally, 50 percent of Americans say President Clinton's adultery makes his moral standard "about the same as the average married man,'' according to a Time-CNN poll. 61 percent of Americans thought adultery should not be a crime in the US. With these statistics in mind, I have to question WHY it's newsworthy, if John Edwards is keeping with the majority, and 61 percent of Americans don't think it's criminal. Sure what he did was wrong morally, but it should be judged in the privacy of his marriage. It's not news.

The other story that is bothering me is about Michael Phelps father. He's not part of the picture. Period. He hasn't been part of the picture since Michael was 9. Is tracking him down useful to either Michael or him? He has nothing to do with Michael's success other than donating sperm about 23 some years ago. He is not newsworthy, and he is about the only one who seems to recognize that as reporter after reporter has contacted him. He said, this isn't about me. Most common sense refusal to talk I ever heard.

Of course, were common sense common, everyone would have it. From the people seeking the stories, to those providing them, to those broadcasting them and those who listen and want more. And bloggers who write about how much they hate such news stories. *smile*


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