Tuesday, June 26, 2007

State of Emergency Declared in Lake Tahoe - Oh Crap, That's Not Important! Paris Hilton Is Out Of Jail! Now That's Real News.

California Firefighters have slowed a raging forest fire on Lake Tahoe's south shore that has destroyed more than 225 structures, and are closer to pinpointing the cause of the blaze. Light winds Monday gave firefighters a badly needed leg up on the inferno, and by late afternoon it was 40 percent contained. State officials declared a state of emergency, meaning California would cover all costs associated with fighting the fire. We interrupt this minor news story to bring you some very important news that will impact your life today. This story is bigger than the Lake Tahoe fire, Terrorism, The war in Iraq, The genocide in Darfur, AIDS in Africa, and the Immigration Issue. A smiling Paris Hilton walked out of a Los Angeles County jail early Tuesday, officially ending a bizarre, three-week stay that ignited furious debate over celebrity treatment in the jail system. The 26-year-old celebutante was greeted by an enormous gathering of cameras and reporters upon leaving the all-women's facility in Lynwood about 15 minutes past midnight. Hilton smiled and waved as she filed past deputies and the media, her blonde hair pulled back in a braided ponytail. Her parents, Kathy and Rick, waited in a black SUV. Hilton hurried to the vehicle, where she hugged her mom through the window.

Hilton, who was wearing a sage jacket with white trim over a white shirt and skinny jeans, has fulfilled her debt to society. She was obviously in good spirits. She thanked people as she left," said sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore. Photographers sprinted after Hilton's vehicle as she left. When the SUV hit a red light during the ride, photographers jumped out of their cars and swarmed it. During her stay at the Lynwood facility, Hilton was mostly confined to a solitary cell in the special needs unit away from the other 2,200 inmates. Hilton's stay there cost taxpayers $1,109.78 a day, more than 10 times the cost of housing inmates in the general population. The hotel heiress will complete her probation in March 2009 as long as she keeps her driver's license current and doesn't break any laws. She can reduce that time by 12 months if she does community service that could include a public-service announcement, the city attorney's office has said. Hilton appeared to have gone to a family home in a ritzy Los Angeles canyon north of Sunset Blvd.

The unfriggin' believable melodrama surrounding Paris Hilton shows how perverse news reporting has become. It boggles the mind that newsworthy items of great importance are pushed to the background in order to cover someone who impacts society in no positive way and has no obvious talent other than getting in the news. Who is Paris Hilton? And what has she done to warrant such extensive coverage? Apart from being born to opulent wealth and starring in a homemade sex video, reality TV series, minor film roles and a self-titled music album, there is little that sets this 26-year-old DUI offender apart from the mass of poseurs that haunt the pages of celebrity gossip magazines.

I’m not trying to belittle Hilton, who may be a closet humanitarian when she’s not driving drunk or cat-fighting with the likes of Nicole Richie or Lindsay Lohan. However, there is only so much airtime available for breaking news and its no wonder why real news is getting cut so that television news programs and newspapers can devote endless hours and print space to Paris Hilton trivia. Let me count the ways.

There are just a smattering of issues that should be getting better coverage but aren’t. Like this ape here who is going to college! And why is that? Largely because we live in a celebrity-obsessed culture where those writing, reporting and producing the news are more concerned with the antics of so-called celebrities such as Paris Hilton than they are with reporting on the issues that affect the lives of mainstream Americans. But those who are consumed with such trivia are really at fault here. We no longer know what’s going on in our own country, let alone the world. And it’s a crying shame.

Maybe she can do something good with her newfound freedom. Only time will tell. Give me a call Paris. I think me and some of my friends and readers can help you!