What Passes for News

In the days of yore, not as long ago as yesteryear and even more recently than back in the day, entertainment news actually had a “news” quality to it.

When Entertainment Tonight signed on the air in 1981 there were no 24-hour news channels.  Whatever legitimate thing was happening in the world of show business made it to the airwaves after the cameras crawled up Mary Hart’s legs and finally found her yap.  ET pioneered the genre.

Now look at what goes on!  Suri Cruise, the toddler daughter of ol’ couch-jumper and his femme-bot bride, is made out to be a fashion icon for the vertically challenged.  Shadowy photos of people who may or may not be that guy who is accused of doing that thing with that girl who was a bit player in that movie about the stuff, become part of a so-called big story.  Today they have this fantastic item on their website:

“Just in to the ET news desk: A rep for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department tells us police were dispatched to Sandra Bullock and Jesse James‘ neighborhood on Saturday. The police rep says authorities responded to an alleged incident in the area that involved two individuals in a car reportedly yelling to someone inside a residence. Members of the press were found at the site.  No arrests were made.”

So let me get this straight: nothing actually happened in the general proximity where two famous people live?  I know what they’re trying to do here.  They’re saying, hey, we’ve got our eyes on this couple while they go through a terrible time in their relationship.  So if anything happens, or if nothing happens, ET will be there telling you all about it or just stringing together some words that mean nothing at all!

It’s really kind of sick.  I check the website for actual entertainment news and sometimes I’m rewarded.  But with so much competition from TMZ, People, and every other basement dweller with a website and a camera, the flutter of an eyelash becomes “news”.   They’ll stretch that definition out as far as possible and it appears to be made of Spandex so there’s no telling how far it will go.