Celebrities in the American Media Essays

Celebrities in the American Media Essays

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American Media: The Bliss of the Public or the Bane of Celebrities?

Throughout history, the media has caught some of the most horrific scenes on camera. While it is great that these events were documented, one cannot help but wonder how much is too much when prying into the lives of public figures. Even celebrities need a time to grieve; yet that time seems limited when they are constantly being harassed by men with cameras trying to give the best account of the situation. Since the introduction of the television, and possibly before, news broadcasters have been concerned with one objective— relaying the most interesting and informative report of the breaking story, regardless of the effects of their curiosity. In most cases of tragedy, the media coverage makes the situation worse.

There is a photograph by Elliott Erwitt of Jackie Kennedy at President Kennedy’s funeral, which really embodies the effects of broadcasting tragedies. In the picture, Mrs. Kennedy’s face seems frozen in a state of disbelief and grief as a man behind her stands unaffected with a microphone around his ear. Millions of Americans sat in front of their TV sets watching the funeral, and through all of this Mrs. Kennedy was barely able to relax and reflect since it was her duty to plan the whole procession. After the funeral, she still could not find the time to grieve. Because she was the first lady, Jackie Kennedy had an obligation to the public so “even under the greatest stress imaginable [the] widow was receiving the guests who had come to her husband’s funeral” (Mayo, 84). By being the wife of a public figure, she too feels the stress of being a celebrity. The media, as well as the members of the public have forced her to remain active...

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... without creating a rivalry between them or false pretences against them. In an age when media is such a big part of Americans’ lives, it is necessary to take into account the effects that the stories will have on the people in them.

Works Cited
Baughman, Cynthia. Women on Ice: Feminist Responses to Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan Spectacle. New York, New York: Routledge, 1995.

Gladwell, Malcolm. Blink. New York, New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2005.

Mayo, John B. Bulletin From Dallas: The President Is Dead. New York, New York: Exposition Press, 1967.

Semple, Robert B., ed. Four Days in November. New York, New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2003.

Triplett, William. “Alive”. American Journalism Review. October 1994. Questia. Questia Online Library. University of Miami. 28 September 2006. < http://www.questia.com/>.

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