Celebrity obsession only hurts U.S. news


Over the past few months, reports of celebrity abuse by paparazzi have been steadily increasing. All the stories buzzing around and the nature of Hollywood’s attention-seekers makes me wonder who’s to blame: the shutter bugs or the A-list stars.

    Part of me wants to side with the stars because the proof is in the video when they are seemingly being chased all over Los Angeles just so paparazzi can get that one photograph which will sell for half a million dollars.

    At the same time I also find myself sympathizing with the photographers because they are just trying to do their jobs.

    Crazy media escapades should not be made to look like paparazzi’s fault when they get phone calls telling them exactly when big stars will be where with an exact timeline of activities.

    All these issues were addressed on Friday when Kathy Griffin hosted “Larry King Live.” Griffin sat down with a panel of paparazzi, as well as an assortment of Hollywood stars, and asked some hard-hitting questions of both parties.

    I do not know if this special was supposed to settle the ongoing battle between celebrities and entertainment media, but for me it was more of an in-depth analysis of behaviors on both sides which did not get to the bottom of anything.

    The paparazzi brought up a good point when they said that the celebrities who do not like to be photographed can avoid it, but the ones who are seemingly hassled are the ones who ask to be followed.

    Even Brooke Hogan admitted that she went shopping with a friend and forgot that paparazzi were usually more prevalent in the area where she went.

    If she had remembered that fact, she could have avoided the press altogether.

    The most perplexing thing about all of this is why we are still talking about celebrities and paparazzi.

    What is a celebrity other than a person with a job to do? The same can be said for paparazzi. They are both just making a living.

    Our nation’s obsession with celebrities has gotten out of control. It is amazing to me that newspaper circulation is declining while magazine circulation is increasing.

    As Americans, we complain about not being informed and we bash the news media, then in the next instant we take out another subscription to a tabloid magazine just to fill our minds with useless information that will probably never directly affect us.

    I understand the fact that Americans live to be entertained, but there is a price to pay for our constant need for amusement.

    We need to shape up and absorb more news than celebrity garbage because the latter will only take us deeper into the mess we have already created.

    At this rate, our celebrity obsession could push real news to the back page.

Sarah Rasmussen is a senior in print journalism. Please send comments to edge@spub.ksu.edu.