Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Trivial Pursuits

Instead of railing against the media's obsessive pursuit of stories like the Runaway Bride, why not, suggests Steve Gilliard, turn the public's fascination with these stories to our advantage?

Do you know what was the most popular post on this blog, the post that brought me the most hits? A picture of George Bush with green hair! Which only goes to prove that even those of us who rail against the trivial are sucked in by it as well. Steve is right that there is a bit of snobbish elitism mixed in with the mockery we heap on the establishment media. What if, instead of simply mocking, we used the trivial as a trojan horse for talking about the issues we care about?

Conservatives are very good at this. They know how to turn the public's fascination with Michael Jackson into a wider debate about social morals. We, on the other hand, sit around bitching about how the Jackson story steals oxygen away from stories about Iraq or Social Security or Health Care or whatever.

Steve makes one truly excellent point (amongst several excellent points):

The folks are Romenesko were debating why they covered Krispy Kreme openings a couple of years back. They complained that it was just free advertising for the company. Now, while these folks had their noses up in the air, you had hour's long wait for these donuts as they hit new markets in the Northeast and West. The snobs missed the point that this was news. This company had a product which people were willing to wait in the early morning for. If 50 people line up for a fucking donut, asking why is a good start. You cover what happens, not what you think should happen, and goddamnit, if people stand in line at 5:30 to get hot dounts, you should find out why, even if it is a free ad. (emphasis mine - Chris)

Instead of screaming at the wind isn't it about time that we learn how to use it?

There's a dKos discussion on this as well.


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