Celebrity Culture and Flight Crash on the Hudson

Last Thursday I was flicking channels and caught a segment on Entertainment Tonight about Flight US Air 1549 crash into the Hudson River. ET had its own take on the event by interviewing some celebrities who had been in air crashes, and apparently interviewing others just because they were celebrities.

It seemed inane to have all this celebrity talk on the news – most of it amounted to “The people must have been scared. I was really scared when…”. The program went to speculate which leading man would then play pilot Chesley B. Sullenberger.

In this instance I was not sure why the opinions of “celebrity” were of any value. They were the opinions of people who could sing, dance or memorize some lines in front of the camera.

Why not solicit some more valuable commentary – from pilots, or from the actual people involved in the crash, or perhaps even from witnesses. I suppose this is not the job of an entertainment show, but it typifies our culture’s fixation on “celebrity” for its own sake. I wonder how much closer we would be to zero carbon emissions, or eliminating world hunger, exploitation, or polution if the same amount of coverage would be given to real news.

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One response to “Celebrity Culture and Flight Crash on the Hudson

  1. slc January 21, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    If they gave us more real news, would anyone watch?

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