Not just principled, but hot…
I’ve been scouring the blogs about US newsreader Mika Brzezinski dramatically rejecting the Paris Hilton story live on air.
Now it seems that Mika is a celebrity too, and for some of the same reasons.
Two of the cleanest posts I found were these….
1. "Mika is, let’s face it, hot. i would make passionate, political love with her, not only because she’s beautiful, but because she’s got scruples.
2. "Not only is she a great journalist, but oh goodness shes beautiful too….give me a break."
(Their punctuation, not mine.)
So the lead story in the blogosphere is now that a woman can be bright and beautiful, which doesn’t bring us back to very far from where the debate started.
Except that I doubt these viewers, and the readers of newspapers who have now declared themselves Paris Hilton-free zones, really do want a news agenda made up of nothing but war, politics and worthiness.
It makes for very dull reading, like the indigestible pages of great American journalism from the New York Times that are now bizarrely tucked inside the Observer in the UK every Sunday. They are crying out for some glamour, or a story about a dog with three heads, to sweeten them.
Instead, the lightweight stuff gets stuffed into the trash can of the supermarket tabloids and the serious papers can only be read by those with masters-level concentration spans.
You have to get the mix right, and probably nobody does, and that includes not here in Britain. I once heard an American journalist in London describe the feeling you get when you’ve read too many British tabloids as enervating, like staying at a party too long.
But the tabloid approach on this side of the pond does seem to help secure a more digestible mix of news, whether in the tabs themselves or woven into the serious journalism of the BBC and the heavy newspapers. (That is, of course, if one ignores tabloidism’s taste for scapegoating, warmongering, racism and lying).
In the meantime, I would not want to incur the wrath of the new Mika fan club. So bravo Mika, but just don’t get dull.
And, if you dispute whether readers really need to be lured into more serious items by stunts about celebrities and blondes, well, it worked for you because this post started with sex and ended with media studies.