Tuesday, December 19, 2006

media navel-gazing

ABC News recently had a news story about U.S. first lady Laura Bush being treated for skin cancer.


As I understand, a reporter noticed that she had had surgery on her leg, asked her about it, and discovered that the surgery had been to remove a cancerous mole. Not a particular big story, and apparently not one that the first lady had really pushed, since it's a fairly personal issue and not everyone (ahem) like to draw everyone in the world into their personal battles with cancer. Imagine that.


Still, she's first lady and therefore highly public, she got the treatment, and someone wrote a story on it. No big deal.


What was odd was that ABC News then did a story on the questions surrounding whether that reporter had made a private matter too public, and even was taking a poll of its online readers about whether the reporter had turned a personal matter into a public story needlessly. Geez guys, if you have to ask ...


A friend of mine complained that the media was being idiotic and too concerned with itself. Ah, how soon we forget. This was nothing.


The ultimate in media narcissism came back during Clinton's infamous Zippergate scandal. First came the tidal wave of coverage over the details of the scandal. Then came the surge of stories on how many media outlets were reporting all the salacious details. Lastly came an Associated Press story on how many media outlets were reporting on the oversaturation of news stories about the scandal.


The media can overdo their job, but that one really took the cake. I wish I were making it up.

1 comment:

MJ said...

"since it's a fairly personal issue and not everyone (ahem) like to draw everyone in the world into their personal battles with cancer. Imagine that."

Oh, do you mean by that capitalizing on the sympathy of apathetic waitresses?

I think that you should get a t shirt printed that says.... "New thyroid free formula"....And, hey, you can always get sympathy for not having a thyroid...I mean most people have one, so that makes you a minority.