Monday, March 21, 2011


That’s Entertainment!

“I watch the catastrophe play out on television. In Japan, a baby is lifted from the rubble and swathed in a blanket. A young woman is bleeding. An unconscious man is strapped to a stretcher. The streamer at the bottom of the screen says: ‘Victoria Beckham expecting a girl ... Aerosmith, J-Lo both slated to appear on ‘Idol’ ... Tiger Woods to appear on ‘Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.’ . . .

“[A]ll tragedy is promoted on television as if it were entertainment: the trial of O.J. Simpson for a grisly murder, the car-crash death of Princess Diana, Chilean miners trapped below ground and yes, even the combination earthquake-tsunami-nuclear calamity in Japan. It is the nature of TV that everything is promoted the same way, no matter how ghastly the event.

“There are rewards for doing so. According to FishbowlDC, ‘The Japan tragedy sets a new record for with more than 60 million viewers watching.’”

—Roger Simon, Politico columnist, “High ratings at a human cost,” March 2011

Image: “Cocooned Against the Cold,” by Damir Sagolj, Reuters. Swaddled in blankets, evacuated tsunami survivors try to keep warm in a Japanese Red Cross hospital on March 13. See National Geographic, “Japan Tsunami: 20 unforgettable images.”

Editorial Comment: March madness, year-round.

A WORDster’s Plea: Alert WORDster Bruce Adomeit of the Star Tribune in Minneapolis is looking for decent green eyeshades. He remembers good ones with leather bands, not the cruddy plastic ones that I remember.... Any ideas?

PR Conference This Week:
Utah State’s PRSSA chapter hosts the Mountain West Regional Public Relations Conference, this Thursday-Friday in Logan, Utah. Click here for information.

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PeezPix cards & prints
<— Battery Point Light House at Crescent City, Calif., which was hit hard by last Friday's tsunami.



  1. Fits with a conversation I had yesterday with a young friend…….Her girlfriend, a college senior in Texas, has an internship this summer at ABC TV network news. She is very excited about this because she wants to be an actress and thinks this internships will be good training. I guess she is right.

  2. How true, how true. The TV news stations report on the content of their network shows as if it is news. News about the show and news of the show are different things, but this is overlooked. No wonder our young people go to plays and think it is real. It is one thing to think that a fictional character is rea l(soap opera characters espcially), but to really believe it is just strange. How many letters are still sent to Juliet asking for romantic advice. I wonder how many people under 30 know what non-fiction and fiction are.

    I do wish the news programs would tell us what has happened and what is happening and stop with the speculation --"maybe", "might" that is not news.


  3. And we all watch. We have met the enemy and she is us.