A Lesson On What IS News, And What is NOT

“But it’s NOT NEWS…”

I remember it so clearly.

I was nearly screaming it at the top of my lungs.

I fought with my news director from 4am to 5am begging her to change our lead story to no avail.

She was leading with “Tabloid Talk Heats Up Over Alleged Clinton Affair” and I was cringing as I had to read the words.

I couldn’t believe our 24-hour news station was leading with a sex scandal alleged in a tabloid. I was disgusted. Baffled. Humiliated.

It took about 24-48 hours before it was all anyone was talking about and the name Monica Lewinsky leapt from the likes of the Washington Post and the New York Times.

It didn’t matter if I thought it was news. It didn’t matter if a mother in Orlando had been murdered that morning or if police had once again swept homeless off the streets of downtown…all that mattered was it was “sexy” and “sexy sells.”

Sexy cost this country millions upon millions of dollars while we all debated what the definition of ‘is’ is and several families’ lives were changed forever.

So now, every time I see a sex scandal splashed across my tv screen, or main stream media anchors alluding to tabloids…I realize we’re on the path for yet another “sexy” headline to whip news directors into a frenzy and distract for our attention elsewhere.

The MOMocrat love for Elizabeth and John Edwards is no secret. Their activism and contributions to this country inspire us without question. Their marriage, unless subsidized by my tax dollars, isn’t my business.

Maybe you think it’s yours. Maybe you think it speaks to character. Maybe you would never vote for a Spitzer or Craig or Clinton.

Maybe you find all of that more important than today’s real headlines that include:

Police: Killer Targeted Church for Liberal Views

Female Bombers Target Pilgrims

Or how about

White House Projects Record Deficit for 2009

I’m posting this because I do agree with my friend Lee Stranahan. It doesn’t matter what I think is important; the GOP machine will chug and churn and try and turn tabloids into multi-million dollar taxpayer time sucks. They will drag a family’s business through the mud and back. They will try and run the news cycle, the spin, and even the private lives of citizens.

It will be a story whether we want it to be one or not, and whether there is currently a reporter in a newsroom screaming ‘But it’s NOT news!!!’ at the top of her lungs.

It won’t matter of nothing comes of it, if everything comes of it, or if everyone involved is happy and content.

It won’t even matter if none of this is true.

It will be news.

I sincerely hope this is all I ever write on the matter, but I doubt. I sincerely hope there are no ‘legs,’ as they say, to this story.

I sincerely doubt it’s just going to go away.

It might not be news, but it sure is “sexy.”

So I will continue to point out all of the real news going on, while everyone else speculates on tabloids. I will continue to remind people we are at war and people are dying.

I will continue to yell “But it’s NOT news!”

And hope someone listens.

Crossposted at MOMocrats.com


  1. But, if you take away the sex scandals, what is next? Fires? Car wrecks in far away places? Random child abductions on the far side of the country? Missing white women?

    What would news stations have to cover if we did that?

  2. HI! Queen.
    Its been a while since I have been here to your site. Since you are the Queen of the “tit brigade”, I wanted to ask you something that is not about the topic you posted. First of all,I absolutely love your site, and all the other BREAST feeding sites. I have one question for you all though. How do you feel about nursing another woman’s child just for the heck of it? Not a family member, just a neighbor. I saw a story on GMA, today and it kinda bothered me. When I nurse my children, I like to think that this is a special bonding time for the two of us, that no one can ever take away, not even the ignoramuses who say that its wrong. I’m not sure though, that cross-nursing as they called it is safe, sanitary, or even right. If the mother is in good health, and able to feed her own child why then would she hand that baby to another mother to be fed, and then feed the other woman’s child? What do you all think? I know this may be a touchy subject, but I really want to know with out being offensive or mean what you all think. I wrote about it on my blog. Thanks in advance, and NURSE ON!

  3. I don’t know, I thought the media did a stellar job with the news of McCain having a mole removed. I just can’t imagine something that interests me less….even if it was a candidate I gave a crap about. Priorities.

  4. I think for Non-Americans. this whole importance given to sex scandals is incomprehensible. After all, what is important in a person who wields power, is certainly not his private life. Is it the Puritan background?

  5. I got chills reading your post! I have to admit to myself that I am a backseat American being taken along for the ride. I also must admit that I seldom watch the news because I like to go on believing that this is a happy world full of happy people. Sometimes, no matter how hard I try to ignore news, it catches up to me: in the line at the grocery store, on my Yahoo home page, and through the gossip of friends and neighbors. Would this world be better, worse, or unchanged if there were no reports of any happenings. I hope you are not shaking your head at me right about now. I’m just being honest. What do you think?

  6. Well, here’s the problem – news is supposed to be objective reporting of events important to the local community and the country as a whole.

    It’s basically a distribution channel for advertisements, and ad revenue is driven by continued sales.

    When the populace resembles Idiocracy, and is getting worse to an exponential degree – you keep your bottom line going by selling junk to them, because it is all their attention span wants to handle.

    I understand and agree with your ideaology, but it IS business. 10% of people will care about things; the other 90% don’t give a damn and want to hear about what’s popular. When people’s paychecks are at risk, they’re gonna take the easy route, and justifiably so.

    And – it’s not like the 10% lack options themselves; there are blogs like this, endless websites, specialty newspapers, and a reasonably efficient mail system to get it all.

    Ultimately…news is not a tool for social change, and shouldn’t be. It got perverted in the first place by people thinking they could bend society’s will with such; I’m not sure this is different.

    Like I always howl – just gimme the damned news, and not a bunch of social garbage and polite ‘suggestions’ like all too many British rags do! And I’m frequently disappointed. C’est la vie.

    It’s just life, business, laziness, and a few people with hope – and that ain’t changed in millenia. 🙂

  7. An interesting – if somewhat cliched article; after all, it isn’t New and Improved News – is the topmost here – http://www.tuccille.com/blog/ – aptly titled Helicopter Parents.

    I’m torn. I’ve lived a fairly horrible life, myself – and if it were devoid of scars I think I’d be a pretty competent, capable little human.

    On the other hand, I’ve been ready to snap for weeks and I just puked my guts up.

    Suffice to say, get the kids an education outside of school that they can leverage in this synergistic environment. :p

    And don’t sweat the 3 year old being a terror. When you were that age – up to now, and until you’ve gotten too tired – you want to do everything yourself, be a Big Person, and feel like you can handle it all. 🙂

    So – let her!

    And I need a vacation. Don’t let your kids make my mistakes, please.

  8. Yeah, I don’t really like to watch the local news because there really is not much substance any longer.

    Where is the news?

    At lease we have the Huffington Post…

  9. Check out the news at BBC.com. It’s amazing to see the difference.

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