Monday, June 29, 2009

The Line Between News and Gossip

Proverbs 18:8 "The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly."

I stayed away from news networks this weekend (which is hard for a news junkie). Why? Because the majority of stories focused on the life and death of Michael Jackson. Granted, his death, tragic and sudden, impacted a lot of people, but do we really need to know all of the details? Do the news outlets even know the details - or is it all speculation?

This morning, I decided to brave the news again. They actually had some news: Madoff sentenced to 150 years in prison for his fraud, Iran declares (again) Ahmadinejad as the winner of the election (after counting a few votes - that's a whole other post), bones positively identified as St. Paul's, and so on. Then came the replay of the 911 call regarding the late infomercial pitch man Billy Mays. Really? Do we need to hear the frantic call placed by a grieving family member? I know it's a matter of public record, but I still feel like I'm intruding. Then, of course, more "news" about Michael Jackson.

I guess I'm wondering where the line is drawn between news and gossip? To me, it's news when someone famous (or infamous) dies. It's gossip when rumors swirl around regarding the manner of death. If the coroner has not stated the manner of death, then any speculation is just gossip. This leads to confusion, more rumors, defamation of the deceased person, and added pain to the already-grieving family.

There are so many other stories the networks should be focusing on: the coup in Honduras, the ongoing protests in Iran, the CAP and Trade energy bill (again - another post), and the threats from North Korea.

Okay - I'll get off my soap box. Anyone else feel the same way or differently? Feel free to comment.

1 comment:

smithsk said...

Interesting enough is that last Friday's O'Reilly talking points got one their soap box about Celebrating the Destruction of Others. Bill O'Reilly agrees with you.