Letter to DesNews: We Don't Care Where the Crap Lindsay Lohan Is!

The Deseret News this morning told us that Lindsay Lohan might be somewhere in Utah. Oh my heck!!!

That is like so totally awesome!!!
Updated: 8-8-2007A gracious response from the Deseret News journalist.

What is it with so-called news sources that they have to slap putrescence on their pages and call it news? I must at least compliment the Deseret News for not having a non-news story about Lindsay Lohan rehabbing somewhere in Utah on their front page. (Of course if there hadn't been six miners missing in Huntington, Utah, Lohan may have been on the front page, huh?) I guess they were trying to keep up with the Salt Lake Tribune and the Daily Herald, who also think this story is news. BYU Newsnet didn't report it; the fetchers...

Not to mention that the DesNews article did not have a scintilla of original-source reporting in it, only citing such august sources as E Online, the Insider, and US Weekly. But I guess that helps them fill up space so they can get their paper out on time. And it's easy reporting!

I have a theory. We think so little of ourselves as a society that somehow we feel better about ourselves when we can identify with celebrity. Especially celebrity that has problems, because then we feel better about the problems we have. And we feel like it's okay to have more problems, so that we can be just like the Hollywood elite. The Trib, DesNews, and The Daily Herald are keyed into this, unfortunately.

I feel sorry for Lindsay Lohan, and I feel sorry for her father, who is very likely the bad example that she followed to get in the mess she is in. But what has she done for the world besides make a few good movies? And several bad ones? How is her life more newsworthy than yours?

But leave the poor girl alone. People magazine can invade her privacy just fine all by themselves, thank you very much! We don't want to know where she is. It is not a status symbol for our state if she is here. She's only person, just like anyone else.

Update 8-8-2007: I just received the following courteous response from the writer of the Deseret News article:

The Lohan article was an assignment, and I cannot tell you
why my editors felt it was important to write. I can only
speculate, as you have, that they are seeking to tailor news
content to the interests of the community.

An interesting fact: In 2006, the number one news search
on Google was "Paris Hilton," followed closely by "Orlando
Bloom." Sadly, "Hurricane Katrina" doesn't show up until
number five.
(http://www.google.com/intl/en/press/zeitgeist2006.html)

Why this is, I cannot say. Perhaps, as you said, "We think
so little of ourselves as a society that somehow we feel
better about ourselves when we can identify with celebrity."

I apologize for offending you. Thank you for your candid
comments.

Elizabeth []


This was my response:

Elizabeth,

I appreciate your writing me back. Despite what you were assigned to write about, let me say that I think you are an excellent writer.

I am not offended by you, because, as you say, your Lindsay Loah article was an assignment by the newspaper. I'd like to think that that's not something you would write about by choice, and that's the reasoning that compelled me to write to you in the first place. I hold the DesNews staff at fault. Several other newspapers around the state were able to constrain themselves from including this story in their pages.

Please pass on my comments to the DesNews staff, because no matter what people demand, Paris Hilton is not news (you're not the first journalist that I have contacted about such a subject) and neither is Lindsay Lohan.

Best of luck to you in your future journalistic endeavors.

Thanks again.

Frank Staheli


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