Re: Why is celebrity gossip considered news

As someone else pointed out, there is some degree of defining "acceptable" behavior - for example, don't dangle infants over balconies or drive around with your children not secured in their seats properly. 

Another factor is the way television news is covered.  Years ago, network news weren't ratings driven.  Network news has become a profit center for the networks.  That can prevent any investigative reporting on any sponsors.  Except for news shows, such as 60 Minutes, we don't see news items that last much more than a minute.  In the past 20-25 years, there's been this belief of a MTV generation, where video images have to be fast and catchy.  With that mindset, it's easier to say some celebrity was arrested for DUI than something that is more important, such as whether the "surge" in Iraq is working.

I think there's another issue at play - keeping peoples' minds off of the issues that are more vital to having a democracy.  Not only celebrity "news" does this, think how often CNN Headline News, MSNBC, or other cable news stations disrupt their schedule because there's a police chase happening in Los Angeles, or, like the other day, watching an airplane fly around the Miami airport to use up fuel before making a landing because of a problem with a door covering the front wheels of a plane.

​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
  • At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less

This is the best (and simplest) world map of religions

Both panoramic and detailed, this infographic manages to show both the size and distribution of world religions.

(c) CLO / Carrie Osgood
Strange Maps
  • At a glance, this map shows both the size and distribution of world religions.
  • See how religions mix at both national and regional level.
  • There's one country in the Americas without a Christian majority – which?
Keep reading Show less

New alternative to Trump's wall would create jobs, renewable energy, and increase border security

A consortium of scientists and engineers have proposed that the U.S. and Mexico build a series of guarded solar, wind, natural gas and desalination facilities along the entirety of the border.

Credit: Purdue University photo/Jorge Castillo Quiñones
Politics & Current Affairs
  • The proposal was recently presented to several U.S. members of Congress.
  • The plan still calls for border security, considering all of the facilities along the border would be guarded and connected by physical barriers.
  • It's undoubtedly an expensive and complicated proposal, but the team argues that border regions are ideal spots for wind and solar energy, and that they could use the jobs and fresh water the energy park would create.
Keep reading Show less
Image source: Topical Press Agency / Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Though we know today that his policies eventually ended the Great Depression, FDR's election was seen as disastrous by some.
  • A group of wealthy bankers decided to take things into their own hands; they plotted a coup against FDR, hoping to install a fascist dictator in its stead.
  • Ultimately, the coup was brought to light by General Smedley Butler and squashed before it could get off the ground.
Keep reading Show less