Kar­dashian-like fas­ci­na­tion doesn’t bode well for an in­formed pub­lic

The Delhi News-Record - - OPINION - MIKE JIGGENS

As a long-time mem­ber of the me­dia, I have al­ways cringed at the ex­is­tence of the so­called su­per­mar­ket tabloids – the ones that pro­fess to have found the “real” as­sas­sin of Pres­i­dent Kennedy or which have un­earthed ev­i­dence to sug­gest the Loch Ness Mon­ster is alive and well.

These pub­li­ca­tions have been around for sev­eral decades and – in an era when real news­pa­pers have been struggling – seem to be flour­ish­ing, driven largely by “fake news.” In spite of my con­tempt for these tabloids, I can’t help but pour over the front-page head­lines when­ever I’m stand­ing in line to pay for my pur­chases at a store. I re­ally don’t want to waste my time read­ing these of­ten out­ra­geous head­lines, but my eyes some­how man­age to drift over in that di­rec­tion nonethe­less.

The most dom­i­nant image mak­ing its way onto the front pages of these pub­li­ca­tions over the past sev­eral weeks, it seems, has been that of Meghan Markle, the new wife of Prince Harry. The ac­com­pa­ny­ing story sug­gests a feud has been es­ca­lat­ing be­tween her and Harry’s brother’s wife Kate Middleton.

This is the sort of ed­i­to­rial con­tent that ap­par­ently sells these su­per­mar­ket tabloids. The gen­eral pub­lic just can’t seem to get enough of the young roy­als. But, hon­estly, who cares? The young roy­als have be­come Bri­tain’s an­swer to the Kar­dashi­ans.

Does any­one care about the Kar­dashi­ans? Let me re­phrase that. Does any­one above the age of 16 care about the Kar­dashi­ans and will read­ily ad­mit it? If so, be care­ful to whom you ad­mit it be­cause it could dam­age your cred­i­bil­ity.

The Kar­dashi­ans, of course, are the big­gest bunch of phony baloneys the world has ever seen. They’re al­ways in the news, usu­ally for the wrong rea­sons, and make head­lines for some of the stu­pid­est or triv­ial things. Naïve young girls idol­ize the Kar­dashian sis­ters, and the en­ter­tain­ment me­dia jumps each time one of them steps out the door. How they are able to com­mand such at­ten­tion is be­yond me.

I have to won­der if the Kar­dashi­ans are be­com­ing en­vi­ous of the amount of at­ten­tion that has been redi­rected of late to­ward the young roy­als. Is there re­ally a feud brew­ing be­tween Meghan and Kate? It de­pends on the sources in which you wish to be­lieve. Some say a con­flict def­i­nitely ex­ists and those sources con­tinue to fan the flames. Oth­ers say there is no truth what­so­ever to the head­lines, claim­ing the two women are get­ting along fa­mously.

Per­son­ally, I could care less ei­ther way. There are far big­ger things hap­pen­ing in the world to­day that should be given prece­dence on the front pages of news­pa­pers or the open­ing min­utes of a tele­vi­sion news­cast. Nei­ther the Kar­dashi­ans nor the young roy­als are news­wor­thy. Per­haps princes Wil­liam or Harry might be in­volved now and then in some­thing notable, but their wives have largely served as lit­tle more than eye candy, yet that’s seem­ingly enough to over­shadow their hus­bands when it comes to me­dia at­ten­tion.

I sup­pose if any­one re­ally needs to know how this pur­ported feud pans out, they’ll have to turn to the Na­tional En­quirer or En­ter­tain­ment Tonight. The real me­dia won’t be touch­ing this with a 10-foot pole.

Still, read­ing these “news” head­lines while wait­ing for the cus­tomer ahead of me to be checked out at the store can be a fun way to pass the time as long as the mes­sages are taken with a grain of salt. I’m await­ing the head­line that sug­gests Prince Charles is think­ing about be­com­ing a woman and is con­sult­ing with Cait­lyn (nee Bruce) Jen­ner.

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