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December 21 2007

Jamie Lynn Spears & the media

Jamie Lynn Spears“Jamie Lynn Spears is pregnant!”

“Yes… we all know this, thank you mass media outlets.”

“Did you know she’s only 16?!?”

“Yes.”

“But did you also know her boyfriend is either 18 or 19?!? (we don’t know for sure…)”

“Yes… thank you, please go on to the next story.”

“But did you know we’re going to talk to either family and/or people who know them in their little town to get their opinion?!?”

“Did you know you make me want to take my own life?”

“This is important news!  She may lose her show, Zoey 101, over this!”

“Did you know I know over 50 ways to kill the next person who thinks this is a news story?”

There are over one million teen pregnancies in the United States every year, why is this one so special?  Well a) she has a sister named Britney who appears to be nuttier than a fruit cake b) she stars on a show popular with young girls.  Does this still make an over saturation by the media necessary?  Of course not, but as we have all seen over the past few years, the media latches on to anything that seems the least bit controversial.

Let’s face it, the Spears family, as a whole, is a train wreck, how about we stop drooling over every moment of their lives?  Jamie’s situation should be nothing more than a footnote in the entertainment news, it should not be on every channel at all times.

Yes, I constantly harp on this, and I also realize it’s not going to change any time soon.  In a report of the 25 most powerful people on the web put together by Forbes, #1 was Perez Hilton, the infamous celeb gossip blogger.  The biggest celeb on the web is someone who writes about celebs… how is that for a commentary on the state of the world?  (#22 on the list is Pete Cashmore, my boss at Mashable.com)

The world is filled with fascinating stories, and journalists feel compelled to talk about a teenage girl getting pregnant?  Something that happens countless times every day, but when you are the younger sister of a deranged pop star, that makes it newsworthy?  I just don’t get it.

The only thing I find remotely amusing this whole thing is how their mother was due to publish a book about how to be the parent of successful daughters… it is now on indefinite hold.



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  • Normally, I’d be the first to agree with the overall gist of this post…that the media is obsessed with trivial things, which it is, but this wasn’t the right case to illustrate that and I’ll tell you why. To tell the truth, I didn’t even know Britney Spears had a sister until this story came out but I can see why it is a big deal. First of all, it’s a teenage actress with a successful TV show deciding to keep her baby. Second of all, her image on her show is that of a nice, responsible girl. Third, the mother, Mrs. Spears, had a book in the pipeline about how to raise kids or something along those lines. Fourth, her big sister, Britney, is a disaster of a mother, having lost custody of her own kids. Fifth, U.S. society still has a bit of a puritanical hangup about sex and teenagers and the idea of a wealthy teenager keeping her baby, well, that just seems radical to some people.
    Put all these components together and it would be surprising if the media DIDN’T think that this was a story.