The polls of the largest election in history closed on Monday and India waits with bated breath for the ballot results, which are set to be released Friday.
The U.S., meanwhile, waits to hear why Solange Knowles attacked Jay Z in an elevator.
Although the U.S. media has largely ignored the single most important election to occur since the Iranian elections of 2009, they’ve milked the Knowles elevator fight for all it’s worth. Instead of speculating about the effects that the Indian election could have on international relations, the media has spent its time wondering why a B-list celebrity kicked her brother-in-law, to which all of us should respond, “Who f***ing cares?”
What is our business—what is everyone’s business—is the outcome of the Indian election. The election could lead to strained political relationships between the U.S. and India. Who will the Knowles/Jay Z altercation affect? No one.
Our country’s love of celebrity gossip and apathy toward international politics isn’t anything new—it seems the average citizen would rather peruse a BuzzFeed list than educate themselves on matters like the crisis in Ukraine that carry a worldwide impact. But the fact that coverage of Knowles’ outburst is outshining the biggest election ever makes me want to throw up.
The argument over what the media does and doesn’t cover is a standard chicken-and-egg dilemma—are the news outlets failing to live up to their civic duty or are Americans just shallow consumers? Both are probably true, but the average American citizen does not (arguably) bear a moral responsibility to stay informed on matters of larger importance than Jennifer Lawrence’s haircut. Even if American consumers are too lazy to read international news, the media should be morally obligated to cover it.
Journalism should not be about selling a product. It should be a tool used to educate, inform and better the citizens of this country.
You tell me what the “journalists” at TMZ do for the public good.