July 14, 2010 12:00

white noise

News and views from inside the media bubble


Occasionally, I venture into the internet ether to peruse a national celebrity culture story, usually at the prodding of my editor, Brian Clarey. Even I — someone generally clueless about matters of sports and celebrity — was tuned in enough to glean from NPR that LeBron James used an hour-long special on ESPN as a vehicle to announce his departure from the Cleveland Cavaliers. The event has apparently set a new record for individual hubris and marked a precipitous slide in Western civilization. I thoroughly enjoyed Matt Taibbi’s July 11 blog post on the affaire de LeBron at www.rollingstone.com. Taibbi’s genius is drawing out the political implications of such cultural moments. First this nugget: “I’m sure there’s a larger point to make in all of this about how the insane pathology behind the LeBron spectacle (read: a co-dependent need to worship insatiable media-attention hogs gone far off the rails of self-awareness) is what ultimately is going to destroy this county and leave us governed for all time by dingbat megalomaniacs like Sarah Palin.” Then this prediction: “Watch and see if that doesn’t become the template for the presidential campaign coverage in 2012. See if those reality-show zoom-ins don’t start to creep into interviews with candidates. This is the beginning of our big Lost in Space journey together, where news and reality-show programming fuse completely and we all end up complete morons, voting strippers and X-games athletes into the White House. I’m psyched. Are you?”

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