Am I the only one out there who found the media coverage of Whitney Houston’s death and funeral excessive? CNN covered her funeral all day yesterday. And then proceeded to air more specials throughout the evening. All week long – in a world filled with heartbreak, wars, the slaughter of innocent citizens, people desperately trying to survive – the lead story was Whitney Houston.
I don’t remember a head of state getting this much attention.
I, like so many, loved her extraordinary singing voice. I own some of her CDs. She was blessed with incredible talent. She could sing like an angel. But she had serious addictions that sent her into a downward spiral. That is what makes the media obsessed with her. There is something disturbing here; the morbid fascination our society seems to have with those celebrities who seemingly have it all and then crash and burn. It’s as if we get a sort of sick pleasure from watching someone else fall.
Her death was untimely. She was far too young. I feel for her daughter who has lost the mother she adored. But I wonder? If she had lived an addiction-free life, had made better choices, had simply kept performing with no need for tabloid coverage of her problems, would the media be covering her death and funeral with quite the same fervor? I doubt it.
The same thing happened with Michael Jackson’s untimely death. I suppose the same thing happened with Marilyn Monroe, although we didn’t have 24/7 cable channels then. We seem to love nothing more than reading and hearing about a fall from grace. Does it make us feel superior? I don’t know. But I find the media’s obsession very disturbing.
This, and so much more, is why I very rarely watch 24 hour news channels anymore. Give me PBS, NPR or the BBC; news organizations who acknowledge that there is a world out there beyond our little corner of it.
What are your thoughts?