Wednesday, March 30, 2011

They Talk and Talk (But Why Listen?)

One of the reasons I like having a blog is it gives me the opportunity to harangue about the things—and people—that drive me crazy. And the way I look at it, even if no one reads my rants, at least I've gotten this stuff off my chest, no?

Our 24-7 media cycle has turned ordinary people into talking heads. At the same time, the overwhelming need for content has caused the media to turn to uninformed blowhards, paid shills and, even worse, ignorant celebrities (and pseudo-celebrities) who have nothing better to do than to blow hot air and rant, over and over again. The media has made stars out of so many people with so little to say, from the political (Palin, Bachmann) to the entertainment field (any one of the Kardashians, Paris Hilton, Chuck Norris).

But why do we keep giving these people platforms?

Case in point, the nearly-ubiquitous Donald Trump. Maybe a number of years ago he was at the top of his game. But now many of his businesses have declared bankruptcy, and his Celebrity Apprentice (featuring nearly as many so-called celebrities as Dancing with the Stars) is a ratings trainwreck.

So in an effort to feed his always-massive ego, he's toying with the idea of running for president in 2012. He believes, as he told the cast of The View, "If I got the nomination[...]I definitely think I could beat Obama." While one would expect that swagger from any potential candidate, his embrace of the "birther" mantle is starting to border on the ridiculous.

After his appearance on The View, he's taken his birther shtick to several other television and radio programs (including the tremendously friendly Fox News), where he has practically foamed at the mouth in his demands that the president produce his birth certificate and also claimed that the Certificate of Live Birth that the president has produced is a sham. (Trump, as he boasted on The View, went to "the best schools," so he knows documents can be forged.)

The fact is, if President Obama really wasn't a US citizen, this would have been proven long before he was elected. Everyone knows this question of citizenship would never have been raised if we weren't talking about an African-American in the White House. But since at least 27 percent of Republicans don't believe President Obama was born in the US, we have to continue pandering to this small-yet-crazily-vocal minority. And now they have a pompous blowhard of a mouthpiece.

Once again, the media chooses simply to allow Donald Trump to ignite a frenzy. No one questions him, no one challenges him, no one gives voice to the opinion that this is all a campaign to keep Sir Hairpiece in the public eye.

Maybe one day our media will actually challenge politicians, aspiring politicians and celebrities who voice their opinions. Maybe one day the public will realize that the world is in far more serious trouble and perhaps worrying about President Obama's birth certificate or a gay kiss on Glee isn't really worth the outrage that people are feeling.

Oh well. Maybe tomorrow.

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