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Paris Hilton is not news

Observations from the Edge
Robert T. Nanninga
Coast News
June 14, 2007


Paris Hilton is not news. I don't care what she is doing, who she is doing it to, and what she is wearing while she is doing it. Nothing about Paris Hilton is newsworthy, other than why broadcast media could possibly consider the trials and tribulations of a globe hopping hotel heiress as being newsworthy.

Now, could someone please clue in CNN.

Personally I have nothing against Paris. Exotic, in a white bread sort of way, she is little more than a supermodel of celebrity. Famous for her ability to pose on cue, and look cold and clueless at the same time, family money is all she has going for her. Yet still CNN feels the need to place Ms. Hilton's reaction to her incarceration. in between stories covering the conflict in the Gaza, trouble on the International space station and the ongoing blood bath in Baghdad.

A rich celebrant going to jail for driving on a suspended license is tabloid fodder, best left at the check out counter. Genocide in Sudan is news. The eminent extinction of the Northern White Rhinoceros (ceratotherium simum cottoni) is news. Government corruption is news. Election fraud is news. Toxic, sewage, oil or fuel spills, of any kind are news. Drought and destruction are news. The second coming of Christ would be news.

In a world of over 6 billion people, in a world rife with war, climate change, and biotic upheaval, the news media dedicating any coverage to the Paris Hilton saga is as absurd as it is pathetic. It's also irresponsible.

When I pick up a newspaper, or turn on a news channel, I expect to get information that is both timely and relevant. I need information I need to know, not infotainment. When CNN is talking about Paris Hilton's legal battles they are not talking about an economy teetering on the brink, they are not talking about ecological sustainability, eroding civil liberties, the extreme drought affecting Southern California, or the global issues driving illegal immigration.

Where is the reporting about water, or the lack thereof in Los Angeles, Iraq, India, China? In L.A. Residents have been told to cut showers and reduce irrigation as drought continues in Southern California.

In Baghdad, where daytime temperatures are hovering around 117F, there is little potable water, and bottled water is beyond the economic reach of most. The water shortage made worse by whatever water there is being polluted with human waste and weapons discharge. The sewage infrastructure of Iraq, long ago bombed by US forces, can't handle the millions living in the Baghdad region. Lack of sanitation, coupled with a lack of water has resulted in a sharp increase in war related mortalities.

With population over a billion, China and India are facing epic water crises of their own. Prolonged droughts would claim millions of lives, create millions of environmental refugees, and enable regional conflicts.

Southern California is no different.

On May 31, 2007, Fish and Game officials shut down the pumps that imported Northern California water to Southern California via the State Water Project. And if that is not bad enough, San Diego Counties other source of imported water, the Colorado River, is in it's eighth year of drought.

So instead of obsessing over Paris in the summer, I think western media should obsess about water, and the lack there of for the billions of humans scurrying across the parched landscape.

Conservation anyone?

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