Those of you who have read this blog know that I am old-fashioned when it comes to the quality of the sports news I like to read. I am utterly disgusted with the work of some of the media today when it comes to its coverage of celebrities.
I have never been a fan of gossip columns. Even though they’ve been around for decades, it appears that today’s cottage industry of delving into the personal lives of celebrities is carrying the same weight in the media as war, natural disasters, and who will be our next President.
The New York Post, long a proponent of sensationalism, carried a photo on Wednesday of Alex Rodriguez entering a strip club with a woman not his wife. What makes this news? What value does this bring to the reader? How will it impact their lives? My answer? Not one darn bit. All this does is maybe sell a few more newspapers. I guess that’s what counts today. Ethics be damned!
Why is it that someone who is in the public eye, be they movie stars or sports celebrities, are deemed NOT to be allowed privacy outside their place of work? I don’t want to hear the argument that because they are celebrities they forfeit their right to privacy. Says who?
I understand and respect that there is a market for this information. It has a place. What I object to is the move by so-called respected news organizations in thinking they need to provide this type of news for their readers/viewers. That’s what the scandals sheets and celebrity websites are for.
Who is to blame for this rash of “gotcha” journalism? Collectively, we are. For some reason there are enough people who revel in the foibles of others, specifically celebrities who have it all. News organizations of all sort do not want to be deemed irrelevant in this culture.
The other factor is that technology has allowed more of us to become aggregators of news. Camera phones make anyone a member of the paparazzi when they are in the presence of a celebrity. They then see it as a way to sell the incriminating photo to the highest bidder. Blogs also contribute to this sensationalism.
If A-Rod or any other athlete is not performing on the field they deserve to be criticized, and should be by media and fans alike. However they do not deserve to be hounded when not on the field, court, or rink.
I am held accountable for what I do at work. What I do outside of the job is my business. If I have problems that negatively impacts my job performance, that’s of interest only to myself, my supervisor and the people I chose to share it with. Others need not know. It should be the same with celebrities.
Let’s stick to the rumors that deal with trades and disgruntled teammates. Beyond that, leave the athletes alone to live their personal lives. If the so-called respected media want to continue the practice of interfering in the personal lives of celebrities, they should no longer sell their wares on newsstands but sell them at the grocery store check-out aisle instead.