"I can't take anymore Kardashians!" John Brown, an anchor on Orlando's Fox affiliate, yelled before getting up and walking off the set in a meltdown that's quickly going viral:
And OK, OK more than a little sad — because he's on point.
According to one 2008 Pew Research Center study, some 87 percent of Americans think the media gives too much air time to celebrity scandals. That's nearly the whole country! And the Kardashians and their ilk have even done the impossible on this one: Republicans and Democrats tend to agree, with 57 percent of Republicans and 52 percent of Democrats blaming the media for too much tabloid news (but then, where does Trump coverage fall? Hmm.).
So it's no surprise that Brown's rant is going viral, is it?
The fact is, often the big stories get buried — whether we care about it or not. In that same Pew study, a quarter of Americans said the Iraq war was the "single news story they followed more closely than any other last week." That same week, the war ranked only sixth in terms of most heavily covered news stories, with the national news media devoting just 3 percent of its overall coverage to what was going on at the time in the Middle East.
More of us would love to say "to heck with Kylie Jenner's bunny rabbit, can we please now talk about this deal with Iran or the violence in Ferguson or something else that matters?"
And yet, when Media Matters decided to look at how the American media covers the important issue of ocean acidification, basically the global warming of the ocean, they found that the Kardashians (there's that name again!) get 40 times the coverage.
So, why is it that journalists don't just say "hey, I'm not going to announce today that Kim Kardashian sneezed"? Simple: Because we still pay oodles of attention to Kimye's possible rhinitis.
Because as much as the world may blame the media, a look at the "most Googled people of 2014" — with Kim in the number two slot — shows it's every day Janes and Joes pushing that Kardashian train down the tracks.
Ahem, that's us.
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