> The networks create media events such as town hall meetings in order to
>  an illusion of democracy. As they fetishize the Simpson case <under the guise
>  of news reporting> the networks further trivialize the social context of
>  domestic violence and its victims. Could you imagine what would happen if a
>  fraction of the time and money spent on this case was devoted to a
>  national discussion on health care reform?
> Allan Siegel
Allan Siegel's remarks about the networks' media coverage of the Simpson case
made me think of a friend's observation about the same subject:  she sees
the boundaries between network journalism and the (supposedly more) sensation-
alized forms of tabloid journalism (such as "Hard Copy," "Inside Edition,"
etc.) blurring around the case.  I agreed with her, and we began to discuss
when and how this blurring began to occur -- the Simpson case seems to both
of us to be only the most recent (as well as the most dramatic) example of
this phenomenon.  Was the Kerrigan/Harding story news or a media event?  What
about the Michael Jackson/child abuse story?  Does the blurring occur only
around figures who are already celebrities in arenas with high media visibility
(e.g. sports, entertainment), or does it occur around other kinds of figures
as well?  When, how, and where did the blurring between different forms of
television journalism begin?
Any thoughts?
Alison McKee
Department of Film and Television
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