Over at HuffPo Us Weekly news director Lara Cohen is arguing that even though her magazine’s coverage of the family Pitt-Jolie, and its “flooding the zone” with Britney’s emotional undoing perhaps isn’t elevating the standards of American media, per se, it is nothing compared to the media’s coverage of the Barack Obama/Jeremiah Wright scandal.
US has been accused of distracting people from the “Important Issues” and the talking heads love to tut-tut about how attention to celebrity gossip is causing the great dumbing-down of American society. But after weeks of watching the mainstream news media’s coverage of the Reverend Wright controversy, I’m just fine sticking to the Brangelina beat.
While we’re certainly not suggesting that the news media has exercised any sort of restraint where Jeremiah Wright is concerned (with the recent exception of John Roberts). Or that it doesn’t sometimes seem that the celebrity factor of Obama has distracted from, say, his stand on issues. To suggest that the arguably overdue vetting of a presidential candidate, excessive though it may be on this particular issue, is somehow the “mainstream media’s equivalent of Tom Cruise jumping on Oprah’s couch” may actually be its own sad example of, as Cohen phrased it, “the great dumbing-down of American society.”