A Plea for a Britney Spears-Free Newscast

by Dorothy Doremus


        It occurred to me, as I was enjoying the evening news, that we are on the verge of apocalypse.  There I was, enjoying my roast beef dinner watching Bill Ritter on Eyewitness News (NY Station) and listening to the events unfolding in our local viewing area when out of the blue, he goes to a correspondent who is covering not the local robberies or even water main breaks, but Britney Spears shaving her head. 

        The story dragged on for almost seven minutes, more time then they gave the story of a shooting that had just occurred, which seemed more relevant to the average news watcher.  I kept waiting for the story on Spears to end.  Just when I thought it was over, they interviewed a psychologist, who was trying to describe the mind set of the young Spears.  Mind you this woman never examined Spears, she was merely expressing an insight into the hair shearing. 

        I could not believe this was occurring.  Britney had a haircut; millions of us have hair cuts for one reason or another.  Who cares???? I mean if you want to waste your precious time on this earth to learn why someone went out and shaved her head, you are taking up time that the rest of us thinking individuals can use. She is a sub par singer at best, maybe I would care more if it was someone with actual talent, but I doubt it. 

        I recently read a novel called Fahrenheit 451 written over fifty years ago by Ray Bradbury.  It was suggested by a friend of mine who loved the book and found it really relevant to the events unfolding today.  I read the book with a little skepticism, trying to figure out why a book written that long ago is on the cutting edge of thinking minds today.  As I turned the pages, I became more and more disturbed.  The book was telling the story of a fireman, no not the traditional fireman, one who started fires; he set books on fire to stop people from thinking and learning. 

        Through the plight of this novel, I came to see that the TV industry in the book was responsible for the dumbing down of the people who enjoyed their programs.  The viewing public was subject to nothing but reality TV that programmed them not to think, which is about the same as television today.  I find that more individuals know more about who is on Survivor than what is going on in Washington, D.C., or even their own neighborhoods.   

        I believe the line between entertainment television and actual news is blurring into one entity.  I think that this needs to change.  Save Britney’s hair cut for the E! Channel and bring the Iraq War into prime time news.  I think people dying in a war is a lot more relevant than a head shaving and it is a disgrace that Britney would get more air time than the brave men and women fighting over seas. 

        I cannot blame the news networks for airing some of these stories, because that is what the viewing public is demanding in their news content.  I mean if people were not watching entertainment news stories on these networks, then the producers would pull the stories and the reports would be actual news.  I guess the rules of supply and demand are at work here. 

        My wish for all of us is that one day we will see a Britney-less news broadcast, she has enjoyed her fifteen minutes with this latest stunt and now its is time to let her live her life and the rest of us to venture out into ours.  We are aware that this is not the last sighting of her, as K-Fed is just lurking around the corner to steal the thunder. Let the National Enquirer or People cover this as news nonsense, and let us have our local news coverage Britney free, the way it was meant to be.


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