Monday, March 07, 2005

Martha, Martha, Martha

So. Did anything of note happen in the world of current events since Friday? I couldn't really tell. Because all the media outlets seem to be falling over themselves to cover every moment of Martha Stewart's freedom (well, semi-freedom).

But seriously, you can't buy this kind of publicity. Sometimes the best strategy, especially when crime is involved, is to just put on a happy face and feed the gaping maw that is the media's desire for photogenic entertain-me-news. What do you get? A perfect trifecta of coverage: entertainment outlets cover her because she's a lifestyle icon and likes to smile for the camera and is rich and owns a pretty estate, news outlets cover her because she is a famous person who just got out of jail, and business outlets get in the action because she's the queen of a publicly traded company. At least two of the major NYC networks did a variation on "Martha: In Her Own Words." (President Bush would be proud of this end-around-the-"filter.")

It hasn't been this good since the governor of Cal-ee-forn-ya cruised his way to victory by dodging the "real" (read: boring) political press and mugging for the showbiz media shows. Programs like "Inside Edition," which -- in its hard-nosed quest to get to the truth of matters -- is currently subjecting its host to a bit of participatory journalism to see what it's like to wear that cute ankle bracelet Martha's got. As she informed viewers in today's episode, even Fox News interviewed her about her daring, personal foray into the world of "house arrest." (George Plimpton can now officially roll over in his grave.) So you're telling us a network that's already steeped in propaganda is reporting on a parallel dramatization of a event that was being hyped up for maximum benefit to begin with? Riiight.

Where's the news in all this? Oh, we've got news. A sampling of real headlines: "Martha Stewart Enjoys Comforts of Home" ... "Martha Stewart Catches Up On Housework" ... "Martha Stewart Going Back to Work at NY Office" ... "Martha Praises Her Employees."

Well, in case you missed recent news from my corner of the world, here's a digest: "Jeremy Brings Home Fresh Food from Local Supermarket" ... "Jeremy Appreciates Conversation With Friend While Doing Dishes" ... "Jeremy Expected to Make Appearance at NY Office Tomorrow" ... "Jeremy Anticipates Imminent Night's Rest."

Is it great to NOT be in jail, or what?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm just hoping for "Martha Stewart Announces 25% Raise for Her Employees."
- Daryl