Sep 11, 2011

Reality Television, Fox News, and Other Oxymorons

Why am I posting a picture of Snooki wrapped in the American flag on the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 tragedies?

Am I just another baiting blogger who uses inflammatory images to rile her readers? Or has my Jersey Shore addiction finally sent me off the deep end to where I can’t see how some might find this choice offensive?

No, and no.

I came across this picture yesterday, after watching a few hours of the endless 9/11 programming broadcast on every cable news network for the past several days. I came across it after watching, through tears that were not at all cathartic, those towers fall, over and over and over again, every time I flipped the channel. 

I came across this picture after watching hours of hype about possibly imminent terror threats, hype that all but eclipsed any discussion or analysis of President Obama’s congressional address Thursday.  Once again, a reminder that when it comes to American life in the media, nebulous fear and hysteria almost always trump reality and productivity.

I came across this picture after watching Mike Huckabee’s Fox News program yesterday, where he launched his special 9/11 episode with a discussion of intolerance, a discussion in which he boldly compared the 9/11 hijackers with those Americans who disagree with his party’s views on life (that it begins at conception) and marriage (that it should be between a man and a woman). He paralleled the Democrats’ intolerance to that of Al Qaeda, and used the recently released video game, “Tea Party Zombies Must Die” (in which right-wing figures including Huckabee himself are targeted and shot) to characterize the motives of all those opposed to “family values”, as evidence that those on the left are as dangerously violent in their intolerance as those who committed the heinous attacks on America ten years ago today.

I found this picture after watching ads that urged me to pick up the phone and order my YOU CAN RUN BUT YOU CAN’T HIDE commemorative 9/11 "Justice Coin". I found this picture after learning that, had I acted faster, I could have gotten the protective plastic case included in my order, all for the low, low cost of $19.99.

I came across this picture after watching--in between discussions of The Situation’s GTLing and Snooki’s desire to lick her boyfriend's butt--gushy, MTV-produced PSAs that included Jersey Shore star Pauly D.’s sentimental musings on his memories from the day our nation fell under attack.

I came across this picture while wondering, when do remembrance, tribute, and ceremony cross the line into sensationalism, opportunism, and greed? When does “news coverage” become nothing more than cheap reality television all wrapped up in an American flag?


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.