“It is normally perceived as some cruel and shallow money trench through the heart of the journalism industry” – this is how Hunter S Thompson describes TV in Generation of Swine – and this is how I feel about “junk journalism”.
Last year comedian Sarah Mcmillan, attended the Baftas in a floral maxi dress. Whilst she was having a lovely night hundreds of keyboard warriors took to twitter to criticise her outfit choice. The standard “looks like she’s wearing her Grandmas curtain” jibe was thrown around quite a lot (witty devils). Off of cyber space and on to black and white, the next day newspapers continued the taunting. She was even pulled apart on chat show “Lorraine” by Lorraine and her crew, like a middle aged mean girls.
The bottom line is that many people took the time to rip somebodies outfit to shreds that they’d never even met. It’s a sad fact that sometimes people put other people down to makes them feel better about themselves. Maybe the “worst dressed” articles are like a confidence boosting feast for the eyes on which small minded people gauge, making themselves feel better about that time their shoes clashed with their handbag.
This brings me to what I have coined “junk journalism”. The documentation of the every day activities of D list celebrities and the mean and judgemental criticisms of peoples outfits. Much like junk food, it lacks substance, but thousands of people binge on it.
The TV & Showbiz section of the Daily Mail online serves up a hell of a lot of junk, with plenty of sides of ridiculous. In February they posted an article entitled “Watch your step! Lauren Goodger narrowly avoids walking in a puddle during a day out in Essex”. I stepped in dog poop earlier, why the hell didn’t that make the news? The top comment – “and finally… Bad stuff apparently happening in Syria! And British media found to be wholly responsible for collective loss of nation’s moral compass!” – pretty much says it all.
We live in a world facing problems – climate change, terrorism, poverty. Reading about One Direction smoking a spliff can distract us, briefly, from the fact that the ice burgs are melting. With so much bad news plaguing the pages of newspapers, celeb gossip can be, for many, a beacon of light in the darkness of current hard news.
So thankyou, Daily Mail, for that informative article. Now I know that Millie Mackintosh and that actress from Hollyoaks wore the same outfit I’ll be able to sleep tonight, and no, I do not want to vote who wore it best because that should not matter to anyone, ever. Now quick, send out the papz, thingy majiggy from TOWIE is having lunch at Nandos.