Our ever-vigilant news media cannot stop reporting on the war. Each day, journalists engage us with in-depth, hour-long explorations of every facet of the war. Tireless reporters report on location about the war’s smallest details and the war’s mounting causalities. Despite cynicism about the indifference of the American public, all that relentless attention has got the whole country talking about the war.

No, not that war.

The news media is obsessing on “Charlie’s War,” as in Charlie Sheen’s “war” against…something. Against sitcoms. Against sobriety. Against self-important talking heads choking on dead air in between commercial breaks. Whatever and wherever the battle might be, you can bet that the media will be there in the trenches to cover it. And yes, MSNBC officially branded the whole sordid Sheen side-show…“Charlie’s War.” Martin Bashir spoke in somber tones about the day’s latest developments in “Charlie’s War.” Like any war, they’ve done it up right, complete with a snazzy graphic.

Really.

And it worked. We’ve become entranced by this misdirected “war coverage.”  You see, we were too busy watching Charlie’s War to notice a week’s worth of deaths in the other war—Afghanistan.

It seems inevitable that the celebrity-obsessed tastemakers currently languishing in cable newsrooms would find a way to conflate the meaningless rantings and ravings of an actor with something as dire and transcendent as war. Their ill-informed use of language marginalizes the true cost and sacrifice of “war” until the reality of it all is diluted beyond recognition. Language matters, except to those who peddle it on TV.

Continued…

FDL’ers: ReaderSupportedNews picked up my latest attack on the media. Again, I want to share it with the FDL community, but RSN wants it exclusively for a few days. Here is the link to the full article. Cheers, JP.

The Global War on Celebrity

Posted on | March 9, 2011 | 2 Comments

Our ever-vigilant news media cannot stop reporting on the war. Each day, journalists engage us with in-depth, hour-long explorations of every facet of the war. Tireless reporters report on location about the war’s smallest details and the war’s mounting causalities. Despite cynicism about the indifference of the American public, all that relentless attention has got the whole country talking about the war.

No, not that war.

The news media is obsessing on “Charlie’s War,” as in Charlie Sheen’s “war” against…something. Against sitcoms. Against sobriety. Against self-important talking heads choking on dead air in between commercial breaks. Whatever and wherever the battle might be, you can bet that the media will be there in the trenches to cover it. And yes, MSNBC officially branded the whole sordid Sheen side-show…“Charlie’s War.” Martin Bashir spoke in somber tones about the day’s latest developments in “Charlie’s War.” Like any war, they’ve done it up right, complete with a snazzy graphic.

Really.

And it worked. We’ve become entranced by this misdirected “war coverage.”  You see, we were too busy watching Charlie’s War to notice a week’s worth of deaths in the other war—Afghanistan.

It seems inevitable that the celebrity-obsessed tastemakers currently languishing in cable newsrooms would find a way to conflate the meaningless rantings and ravings of an actor with something as dire and transcendent as war. Their ill-informed use of language marginalizes the true cost and sacrifice of “war” until the reality of it all is diluted beyond recognition. Language matters, except to those who peddle it on TV.