Flipping through the channels on my hotel room television over the last few days I was bombarded with images of Paris Hilton being released from jail.
Perhaps the most absurd aspect of this all is watching reporters, on several networks, camped out in front of the jail making comments like “In addition to traditional media like us, Bob, the place is crawling with paparazzi.”
Cue footage of crowds of media outside the jail. And photographers chasing Paris Hilton’s SUV. And helicopter footage of the newly-release Paris Hilton playing with her dog at home. Etc.
Any line that may have existed between “paparazzi” and “coverage of paparazzi” has disappeared, and that the irony of this is lost of “traditional media” is depressing.
And by watching, I become part of the spectacle. I turn away, but then turn back.
The truly sad thing is that when coverage of her antics pushes coverage of actually important news down the schedule (“and on a more somber note, Bob, 13 soldiers were killed in Iraq this morning”)
I think it might be time to turn off the TV.