ENID — It seems that our news media are so often obsessed by the trivial. One would think that may be so because their audiences are so attentive to trivia. This is partially true, of course, especially if the trivia deals with celebrities in the sports or entertainment worlds. But then the media are frequently given to continuing binges on topics which have long lost their appeal to audiences, sometimes to the point of ad nauseam.
Just recently we have been fed daily updates and expansions upon such super significant happenings as the amorous dalliances of our golf hero, Tiger Woods. Can anyone truly say that he/she did not have more than enough of that coverage on round the clock television for days?
We understand that celebrity status, or that of a “public figure,” apparently gives all of us the privilege to pry into every nook and cranny of their lives, including the personal and private. Further, since we cannot look into all those nooks ourselves, we reward journalists and paparazzi who will serve as our proxies and do this prying for us, so that we may enjoy the vicarious satisfaction brought to us by the media.
Even the most avaricious among us tire of these stories, however, often long before the media sensationalism dies away.
As the Tiger story was on the wane, and just before the terrible disaster in Haiti crowded other stories out of the media spotlight, we were overdosed with media concerns about such inconsequential matters as a two-year old quotation from an off-the-cuff conversation with Senator Reid.
It seems that the senator spoke in a complimentary way about Barack Obama to somebody back early in the last presidential election cycle. In a bad choice of words, he remarked that Barack was a lighter black person and spoke fluently, and that he might well succeed in the presidential race. That comment was not offensive to Mr. Obama, and he dismissed it immediately. Other prominent black people did so as well. It seemed that perhaps the only black person offended was the chairman of the Republican Party. Of course, all of the white republicans on television were offended as well.