By C. Antonio Romero
SAN FRANCISCO, 18 JANUARY 2008-Endless
yammering about the madness of Princess Britney seems to be the
staff of life for the tabloid media the last few weeks-that and
the news that little sister Jamie Lynn Spears seems determined
to outdo her as a precocious little baby-maker.
And indeed Britney seems to be genuinely melting down, a
descent into hell that accelerated with her implosive
"comeback" performance at the VMA last year. (The latest rumor:
the Associated Press has been preparing an obituary
for her, just on the off chance...)
Can we give her a little credit, though, for her recent
pregnancy test hoax?
Britney was never really going to be the next Madonna, for all
that Madonna passed the torch to her years ago with an infamous
kiss at the MTV Video Music Awards. (Few can work the media
half so cannily as the Material Girl, who played Britney and
the rest of us that night.)
While her little gesture was not exactly worthy of the
Yes Men , it was a fun little nose-tweak of the
too-credulous paparazzi and rumor-hungry tabloid press that
scored her a point or two in my book.
It's a shame, then, that most of the political coverage this
election season is really little smarter than the usual
celebrity chase. Watching the swings in the polls leading up to
each of the American primaries so far, it's clear that this
election's coverage will be even more likely than the last two
or three to go to whoever can play the talking-head press best,
regardless of positions on issues.
At least, though, we seem to be past the seemingly endless
run-up to Iowa, where the game of "dub the front-runner"
exhausted the attention of anyone who wanted substantive
discussion of issues, or principles... Whether it's charisma,
experience, a hit TV show, perfect haircuts, faith, or strong white teeth
, little to do with issues seems to be at the root of the
selections of the press. The new phase of coverage will be not
much more meaningful, than what went before, probably, but at
least it will be shaped by the actual behavior of the
electorate as much as pontificators ranting to the unsteady
cadence of their own speculation and spinning.
The candidates matter, the election matters, but what matters,
we'll probably never hear about. Not to mention what matters
about this administration, and all the horrors of the last
seven years, that the media seems to want to fast-forward over.
Tivo has infected our politics, making us feel we can just wish
years are over. They're not, and you can't fast-forward
past history, any more than you can a hangover (and we're in
C. Antonio Romero is the Nouveau editor of
Culturekiosque.com. He last wrote on Sports Cars: Legends of the
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