The news this week has been dominated by coverage of three outbursts caught on television: Joe Wilson, Kanye West and Serena Williams. A recent Google search for “rep. joe wilson” yielded 6,930,000 hits, and it appears that between 4 and 5 million people have watched a video of Serena’s tantrum on Youtube. And Kanye…well, Viacom won’t let Youtube post that footage, but it’s a little telling that even the President had something to say about it. Although I know there have been many more newsworthy events within the past week that deserve as much or more attention as these stories have received, I can’t completely blame news outlets for following them. It seems that we care a whole lot about Joe, Kanye and Serena, and the media is here to sate (and feed) our appetite. If nobody cared, these stories wouldn’t be covered with such vigor.
But why do we care? Do we love seeing larger-than-life figures (and Joe Wilson) lose their shiny veneer and resemble normal, flawed humans? Or do we just want to know what all the fuss is about once we hear someone else talking about it? Perhaps, for some people, it really is news, and incidents like this are indicative of something larger in our culture.
What all of us at The LAMP would like to know is, why do you watch? I would love to hear from parents and teachers about how their children and students talk about the different outbursts, or what conversations emerge as a result. If you haven’t followed any of the stories, why not? The LAMPpost is here to take your comments!