Sheen Trumps Palin and More Junk Food News

CharlieSheen

Illustration: ssoosay via Flickr (CC)

Abby Martin writes on Media Roots:

“We are awash in electronic hallucinations. The worse it gets, the more we retreat into those hallucinations. Dying cultures always sever themselves from reality, because reality becomes so difficult to face, and we’re no exception to that.” — Chris Hedges, interview with Media Roots

Of Tiger Blood and Birthers

During the first four days of the corporate media’s fanatical coverage of actor Charlie Sheen’s drug-addled, tiger-blooded neurosis, four more US soldiers were killed in combat in Afghanistan. Yet, CNN only took notice after a Facebook campaign initiated by a fellow soldier went viral, which pitted the coverage of fallen soldiers against the celebrity addict. The campaign galvanized tens of thousands of people to write the following on their Facebook pages:

“Charlie Sheen is all over the news because he’s a celebrity drug addict, while Andrew Wilfahrt 31, Brian Tabada 21, Rudolph Hizon 22, Chauncy Mays 25, are soldiers who gave their lives this week with no media mention. Please honor them by posting this as your status update.”

In addition to the nonstop updates about Charlie Sheen’s “winning” streak, ABC’s 20/20 and CNN’s Piers Morgan cleared hour long time slots for Sheen to rant about his wild escapades and delusions of grandeur. Good Morning America also dedicated an entire show to broadcast live from Sheen’s Hollywood home for a revelation not to be missed: his urine drug test results.

Showbiz mogul Charlie Sheen and his gaggle of euphemisms became quintessential brand name news, virally marketed by frothing media outlets worldwide. The public platform given to his breakdown resulted in him gaining a record breaking one million twitter followers in just one day, a feat which begat another onslaught of corporate news coverage.

Less than two weeks later, the devastating earthquake and nuclear disaster in Fukushima caused a brief switch in coverage to focus on the tragedy. However, once Donald Trump, billionaire real estate mogul and reality TV star, announced his presidential run and reignited the distracting “Birther” controversy surrounding questions about President Obama’s birth certificate, the corporate media unquestioningly followed suit, propping up the non-issue to the forefront of political discourse.

There were barely any more discussions about the global implications of Fukushima’s nuclear meltdown and the importance of pursuing sustainable energy alternatives. Instead of emphasizing the dangerous fact that there are 23 nuclear reactors in the US designed almost identically to those in Fukushima, the corporate media irresponsibly focused on Trump’s crazed news “Birther” claims. Although the Fukushima crisis still loomed heavy, the media’s focus shifted again- along with the American public’s attention span.

As Charlie Sheen’s downward spiral and Trump’s “Birther” issue reigned supreme in the corporate press, the US government continued its controversial bombing campaign against Libya unabated, potentially in violation of international law (something the nation’s media should likely address instead of the latest Sheen or Trump distractions). The obsession over such superficialities dilutes rational debate on aspects of American foreign policy, like the affordability of spending $40 million a month in Libya when our country is already racked with debt, or the sheer contradiction of bombing other countries for “humanitarian” reasons.

Read full article on Sheen Trumps Palin: Media Roots Writes for Project Censored.

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  • Rex Vestri

    …America marches onward towards Idiocracy

    • BuzzCoastin

      America has already gotten there and built a media-plex/shopping mall to celebrate its ascendency to idiocy.

  • Rex Vestri

    …America marches onward towards Idiocracy

  • Nunya

    but…it’s got what plants crave!

    • Mcgarnicle71

      Electrolytes !

  • Nunya

    but…it’s got what plants crave!

  • DeepCough

    Mike Judge: never thought he’d be the Orwell of the 21st century.

    • Nunya

      Idiocracy was a horror movie, it terrified me.

      • quartz99

        Same here. I’d say that I laughed all the way though because if I didn’t I’d start crying…

  • DeepCough

    Mike Judge: never thought he’d be the Orwell of the 21st century.

  • BuzzCoastin

    Charlie who?

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    Charlie who?

  • http://buzzcoastin.posterous.com BuzzCoastin

    America has already gotten there and built a media-plex/shopping mall to celebrate its ascendency to idiocy.

  • Hadrian999

    as a former serviceman i am constantly embarresed by the attention whore facebook campaigns that troops put on these days.

  • Hadrian999

    as a former serviceman i am constantly embarresed by the attention whore facebook campaigns that troops put on these days.

  • wizard troll

    charlie is an example of what no to do. military is usually secret its a counter culture.

  • wizard troll

    charlie is an example of what no to do. military is usually secret its a counter culture.

  • Nunya

    Idiocracy was a horror movie, it terrified me.

  • Mcgarnicle71

    Electrolytes !

  • Doug Brunell

    And this is surprising why?  When I write about politics, a collective shrug is the response.  When I write about a celebrity, I hear from all sorts of people.  Many people care about the wrong things … and those are the ones always taken by surprise.

    • Andrew

      Did someone say they were surprised by this?

  • Doug Brunell

    And this is surprising why?  When I write about politics, a collective shrug is the response.  When I write about a celebrity, I hear from all sorts of people.  Many people care about the wrong things … and those are the ones always taken by surprise.

  • Andrew

    Did someone say they were surprised by this?

  • Anonymous

    Same here. I’d say that I laughed all the way though because if I didn’t I’d start crying…