ROFL: Random Outbursts From Lar! LarryNocella.com

20Feb/07Off

Watching Hollywood like a hawk. Watching Washington like a blind duck. – Or – Preventing Vietnam War Part 3: Iran with Secret Weapon Paparazzi.

Just for one week, I’d like to try an experiment. I’d like to take all the Hollywood reporters, the paparazzi, and switch their beat with the reporters in Washington, D.C.

It would be fascinating to watch. Imagine Bush and Cheney unable to get into their limos, or eat dinner in peace, because they were being bombarded by flashing cameras and questions shouted at them: “Mister Cheney? Do you have any interest in prolonging the Iraq war because of your ties to Halliburton?” and “Mister President? Can you honestly say that you have no interest in military action against Iran?”

Back in Hollywood, the political reporters, much more tolerant of their subjects dodging, would fit nicely with the issues they are covering. “Hey Britney, why did you shave your head? Because you felt like it? Ok. Thanks. That’s all I wanted to know. If you say you felt like it, well, I’ll just accept that and go home.”

Somehow the media has their reporters assigned to roles completely opposite of their skills. The bloodhounds, the Hollywood reporters, are relentless, merciless in their desire to get a juicy picture or good quote, all over issues of extreme superficiality: who are they dating? What clothes are they wearing? What’s their new hairstyle? Frankly, the whole thing seems to me like pedophilia on a nationwide-gang-bang scale. A large portion of the celebrity targets are teenagers, or in their early twenties. Yet each tiny detail of their lives is fondled by people two, three or four times their age.

In contrast to the Hollywood piranhas, Washington reporters are docile, accepting of what they’re told, and don’t press on too much. All this on issues that decide how many millions of people live or die. It’s been said before that meekness of the press was a contributing factor to the mess that is Vietnam War part 2: Iraq. If only Washington reporters had been a little more aggressive in their questions. They could have asked, “Mister president, Iraq’s military was brought to its knees in the first Iraq war. Why is it necessary to occupy the nation?” When the president gave his fifth or sixth reason during his list of changing reasons, they would latch onto that and never let go.

Maybe I’m being too hard on Washington reporters. There’s a sort of paradox involved in their job, and I don’t know what a solution might be. That is, a Washington reporter is supposed to dig for a story, but if they dig too hard, they simply won’t get invited to press conferences any more. A reporter should dig up dirt, but if they do, what politician is going to give them a scoop via a leak? If they do their job with relentless aggression, one good story is all they’ll get. Then no one in power will talk to them for fear of getting busted.

I don’t know what a solution for this might be, except perhaps mandating by law that a politician must answer all questions put to him or her. Or that there be a rotating pool of reporters with access to all levels of government for questioning, a sort of enforced citizen journalism.

This ties in a little with another phenomenon. In the world of critical thought, people are much more vicious in their critiques of silliness by Hollywood celebrities. A perfect example of these backward priorities is the stupid book, 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America by Bernard Goldberg. This book, like so many other critiques of American society, takes special aim at entertainers. Admittedly, I didn’t read the book in detail, but when I browsed it in a bookstore, found that several of those criticized for “screwing up America” were people from Hollywood, or other artists, musicians, celebrities.

Celebrities have no real power. They have fans and that’s about it. They don’t control the direction of tax money, they don’t control any military, they aren’t America’s representatives to a world that hates us. Entertainers don’t have real power. Politicians do. Why the naked aggression toward Hollywood, and the wimpy obedience to Washington?

If we want to get the story from power, we’re going to have to get the people with the guts to go get it in the place where power truly is. Who’s with me? Hollywood reporters, Washington reporters. 1-2-3 SWITCH!

“Mister Cheney, are you sure you’re wearing underwear?”

Okay, maybe the idea’s not perfect. I guess it’s up to us citizens to prevent Vietnam War part 3: Iran.

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Larry Nocella is the award-winning author of the novel Where Did This Come From? available at Amazon and Xlibris and other fine online book stores. Also, for a limited time, Where Did This Come From? is available as an eBook for only ONE DOLLAR. Visit Larry Nocella's website at www.LarryNocella.com.

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  1. Sometimes Washington reporters are extremely aggressive, if its the right theme. Think of the cheezy moive – Sex, Lies, and Videotape. Those are the stories that get the aggresive attention:

    1. Sex – Bill Clinton
    2. Lies – Dick Cheney’s hunting accident
    3. Videotape – Howard Dean’s Scream

    But you’re right, when it comes to the true scandals and problems of our country, the Washington media is weak. They have a cynical view of the public, they think the public is stupid and wont understand the complex, relevant stories, so they go for the simple, easy to explain scandals without questioning their relevance.

  2. In some way entertainers are the ones that screw up America and the reason why is because the media is always there they have an impact on people when in reality they are not the ones that should have an effect on the public, but I do like your ideas


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