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Phillips: Our hero-worshipping society

Posted: February 19, 2015 11:54 a.m.
Updated: February 20, 2015 1:00 a.m.

It seems one of my favorite topics to write this column about each week is the news media. It’s only natural I have a keen interest in the news; it is my chosen profession, after all.

As I said last week, there are so many news outlets anymore so most of them are constantly scrambling for content and when they come up with some, they present it in a disingenuous way to draw a reader in, who then finds out it’s not the story they thought it would be.

A perfect example happened last week as I saw a link to a news story on the internet about a particular female country music star and her “embarrassment and shame about DUI.” Hmmm … I had heard the young lady had a reputation for partying and many of her songs reinforce that lifestyle, but I had not heard about her being arrested for DUI, so I clicked on the link so I could learn more. The reason I had not heard about her DUI arrest was that she didn’t have one. The story said she was ashamed and embarrassed because her brother had been arrested. Really? Her brother? That’s what they pass off as news?

Another story that’s in the headlines every day lately, especially on the internet, is the plight of Bobbi Kristina Brown, the only child of the late pop music megastar Whitney Houston. Just in case you don’t know, Bobbi Kristina was found face down and unconscious in a bathtub, just as her deceased mother’s body was found almost to the very day three years earlier. The young lady was put into a “medically induce coma” and remains hospitalized and on life support machines.

This is without a doubt a tragic story. But if she was not the daughter of a famous person, would this be in the news every day? I think not. There are thousands of people across this country having serious medical issues but we sure don’t read about them in the news. To even call the daily updates “news” is a real stretch, as the online sources feel the need to offer an update nearly every day that basically says nothing new. It appears a lot of what they write is false or is nothing more than speculation or comes from an “unnamed source close to the family.” But, apparently, these stories draw in readers so the updates keep rolling in.

Some of Brown’s family members have been quoted as saying she’s improving. Some are said to be bickering about what will happen to her inheritance from her mother if she doesn’t regain consciousness. Some reporters, along with some members of Brown’s family, have been reported as saying Brown’s boyfriend is involved in her mishap and the whole bathtub scene is just a cover up.

I have seen other headlines saying a famous actor or actress had died, but when I went to the story it was someone I had never even heard of. It’s not like I know every entertainer in the world, but I am fairly well versed in pop culture and entertainment and it feels like a trick when I’m led to a story that’s not what it’s made out to be.

We have this desire to know all the details of celebrity’s lives, and if I’m going to be honest about it, I am the same way. I’ve admitted I’m drawn to those stories like so many other people. So, I am going to try to resist this “hero worship” that is so prevalent in our society and try to concentrate on what really makes a difference in my own life.

But, for now, I need to go. I have not read the latest on Bobbi Kristina Brown.   

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