Everyone in the news profession, and by now the public, know what a “slow news day” is.
It’s those days when an irrevocable publication date is staring you down and there’s nothing to report. It’s a day when you’d gladly fork out $50-$60 to a bored 8-year-old to set up a lemonade stand so you could snap a breaking-news photo.
It’s no different with the gossip rags.
But don’t blame Mel and Oksana. That cuddly twosome has been doing their parts with enough leaked recordings of tirades to fill up mags, airspace and online sites.
And there’s the old Brangelina standby. What is it this week? They’re splitting? They’re pregnant? They’re adopting? Brad’s feeling neglected and thinking life with Jennifer Aniston wasn’t so bad?
Outside of Lindsay Lohan getting thrown in an upscale slammer and Paris Hilton getting caught with grass again, it’s been pretty slim pickins for the gossip rags in recent days.
Alas, break out that old standby, “Stars Without Makeup!”
It’s the yawn heard round the world. How titillating is that?
Does the story have legs? Apparently.
Why are websites getting hits, magazines flying off the shelves and at least five minutes of airtime per program burning off on this subject?
We –– and I’m speaking here of a collective public interested in such matters –– spend millions on movie tickets, DVDs, recordings, magazines and tabloids to experience stars at their best, but paradoxically, delight in seeing them at their worst.
The reason has to be class envy. We figure that if they can look so, well … ordinary, and still clean up so great and make millions and have so many people idolize them, then we might not be so bad after all, and there might be hope for us.
So we run out and spend a bunch of money on makeup, cosmetic surgery, gym memberships, liposuction, electrolysis, tanning beds and trendy clothes. And to what result?
We wind up as well-dressed, heavily slathered, anorexic, brownish-orange ordinary people with maxed-out credit cards.
Could the real differences between the stars and us be talent and hard work?
Might they deserve a little downtime and a chance to unclog their pores?
Oh, by the way, when one of the acting Baldwin brothers was sighted at Hometown Grocery in Athens a couple of years back, it so happened to be on a slow news day.
We dispatched a reporter and photographer to cover this breaking story.
But I must say, we took the high road. Never once did we feel compelled to report if he was wearing makeup. (He wasn’t.)
News Courier reporter Karen Middleton may be reached at 256-232-2720, ext. 111.