This Day in History. "A country without a memory is a country of madmen." - George Santayana

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Bad News #1: Another Rapper Shot

*Bad News is going to be an ongoing series exposing the idiotic and non-newsworthy stories that the cable news networks report on to keep their 24-hour news cycles going.*

You ever heard the colloquial phrase "No News is Good News"? Well, depending on your disposition, perhaps that phrase is true, but I would argue that not all news is created equal.

Now, I never got a degree in journalism nor have I ever worked at a newspaper or in the newsroom of a local or national news station, so I have never had to deal with the pressure to "make news." A recent CNN article (which, at the moment I am writing, is the #1 "Most Popular on CNN" news story), reporting on the shooting death of some no name rapper, Dolla, deserves to be singled out my first focus on Bad News.

So you may ask, what makes this Bad News?

1) Who the hell is this rapper Dolla and why is he making headlines? This is the first I have EVER heard of this guy. So he was garnering some interest from Akon, big whoop; a superstar that does not make him.

2) This article upholds commonly held stereotypes. Go into any largely white community and I'm sure you'll hear grumblings about another young black male being shot and the belief that it goes on ALL the time. Now, I am not trying to underscore the fact that it does unnecessarily happen frequently, but an article such as this only adds fuel to the fire that is being fed by TI going to jail and Mike Vick coming out. To top it all off, this is coming from the news network (CNN) that broadcasted "Black in America," exposing some of the perception problems black people often face in society, and then they go and join in the smearing. If this was a big name rapper, I think it would be another story, but this kid was barely on the scene. Do better work, CNN.

3) Amidst all that is going in the world, THIS is news?! C'mon CNN, just in America we are in economic dire straits, we have two wars still occuring, an upcoming healthcare announcement from the Obama administration, Pelosi saying that the CIA supposedly did not provide her with all the facts and a boatload of other stories that I would claim are GROSSLY more newsworthy this puff piece. That is just national news, let alone many goings-on internationally.

4) You are giving the public what they want and not dictating what the public should want. I think that I am going to find this to be a recurring theme in this series. Rather than elevate the public discourse and leave entertainment or unnecessary news to Entertainment Tonight and the tabloids, CNN and the other cable news networks puff in these pieces that pass for news and, in my honest opinion, help in the dumbing down of America. I do not care who Britney Spears or Lindsey Lohan is fucking and if I did, I do not expect to find it on a news network that appears to take itself seriously. This piece on Dolla belonged on MTV at best, if that network ever took time out from it's reality series to talk about, you know, music and music news.

There's a little bit of Bad News for you, enjoy!

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