Back in the day, the “news” was just the news. In retrospect is was mostly lies, or heavily biased, but it stuck to normal topics: the economy, politics, natural disasters.
At some point, mainstream news programs began to cover Hollywood and TV Land, with an assortment of glitterati as commentators. Celebrity divorces. Celebrity mug shots. Celebrity sex tapes. This was no longer the sole domain of “E Hollywood Tonight” but of the regular news shows with their regular Talking Heads.
Today in my Yahoo “News” feed there is a story – right next to one about Tillerson’s concerns over Iran’s nuclear program (a bogus story for another day) – about how the crew of The Deadliest Catch is worried about the captain having been incoherent. They even had to call his wife!
Last week, right up there with news about North Korea and Syria was the story of the show Survivalist, where one contestant “outed” another contestant as a female-to-male trans-man. It is interesting, for sure, but several decades ago this would have just been on entertainment shows, and today the domain of Facebook and Youtube, which do provide material on that topic. Today, the happenings on Survivalist made the evening news.
CNN’s front page news included (right next to the coverage of Venezuela’s riots) that Serena Williams won a tournament while pregnant. Really?
Some people might get the wrong impression here. I’m not being indignant. I’m not a news “purist,” although thus far I sound like an old man in a rocking chair on the porch. Actually, I prefer to view this another way.
Entertainment is not infecting the regular news; instead, the news is assuming its honest and proper place as pure entertainment.