When I was a little girl, all I wanted to be was a reporter.
When other little girls were playing house with their baby dolls, little MHC was dropping her dolls off @ baby doll daycare & covering a fire. Little MHC played “Desert Storm” & she would write articles on loose leaf paper based on CNN coverage. All of my friends thought I was a freak (this has never changed), but this was my calling, not a career. I was going to inform the masses. I was going to make them think. They were going to ask questions of the world, themselves. They were going to trust the information I worked to collect & present & society would be better because people would learn & evolve. After all, people should always be learning, asking questions, collecting information & growing. I was going to change the world by showing people what the world really was & people would want it to be better. I was going to reach someone & make them think & grow. I actually apply this principle to everything in my life. If I stand by something & tell you I believe it with all that I am, you should probably investigate it, because I have & I wouldn’t say it if it wasn’t something I believed was gospel.
Alas, I have done none of these things. I write puff pieces & this blog. Little MHC is probably ashamed. I always justify my entertainment reporting with the idea that I write smart, snappy & honest articles. I only sold my soul a little. But my calling remains; I will be a writer & I’ll try to show the world what the world is really like so it’ll change.
I have a point, I promise.
Little MHC had one idol growing up; Barbara Walters. This woman asked hard questions. She spoke to world leaders, war heroes. She was bringing the world information that would change how they saw the world. She was a bad ass, no nonsense lady who wasn’t afraid to put these powerful people on the hot seat & make them accountable. I even forgave the existence of the View because it was a good idea in theory. But this woman was literally everything I ever wanted to be (well, professionally. I always kind of knew I’d never have a person, because they’d have to love my writing as much as I do & understand my need to inform & be moved by my writing & care & even suggest things for me to write about).
Even though they’ve gone downhill, I still look forward to her Most Fascinating People series. I don’t always agree, but she always conducts such compelling interviews. This year, she chose Amal Clooney (née Alamuddin) as her most fascinating person of 2014. Interesting choice. Her reason? Clooney’s wedding to her husband, Academy Award winning actor George Clooney was “really one of the greatest achievements in human history.”
Mrs. Clooney is a fascinating woman. She is educated and uses her education to bring attention to human rights issues. Her focus as an attorney is human rights and extradition. She represented Julian Assange (WikiLeaks) & Yulia Tymoshenko (the former president of Ukraine). She met with world leaders before Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict. She cut her honeymoon short to attend a case in Greece involving the reparations of ancient statues. Mrs. Clooney is definitely a fascinating woman. But she is considered fascinating because she married a playboy actor, not her body of work.
As an entertainment journalist, I know I am part of the problem. We have put so much focus on Kardashians & ScarJos & J.Los & treat these people as fascinating instead of leaders of men, visionaries & average people who just want to make the world better. Walters completely devalued Mrs. Clooney’s body of work, her dedication to helping her fellow man, her education by claiming her greatest moment in life was landing George Clooney. Because after all, no woman can have any real accomplishments greater than marrying a rich and handsome man.
While yes, celebrities can be fascinating (Taylor Swift), there are so many more people in the world. Of her list of 10, the only non celebrities were Mrs. Clooney & Elon Musk. In a world where Ferguson is happening, there is political unrest in Russia, the American political system continues to be flawed, where planes disappear, discrimination is still rampant, sexism is real & racism is fatal. We live in a world where, despite all of these things, beautiful acts of heroism & kindness happen. We live in a world where beautiful people try to make it beautiful every day. All of those things produce fascinating people & someone’s ability to land a man shouldn’t make her the most interesting person in the world. It makes me so sad that Barbara Walters, a pioneer for women reporters has fallen in line with the celebrity worship that she no longer sees the fascinating people among us, the peacekeepers & the leaders & the thinkers.
I guess it makes me sad that we live in a world where our media focuses on keeping up with Kardashians, their own political bias or forgetting that news doesn’t stop just because it stopped trending on Twitter. We’ve stopped informing people & making them think. We’ve allowed ourselves to blame the media for our skewed way of thinking, because we aren’t. We just mindlessly listen to a network who feeds us whatever & a differing opinion is just bias. That’s why John Oliver & Jon Stewart are most people’s go-to for news. But they’re comedians, not reporters.
Before you read anything, even my drivel, open your mind & be willing to think. Then think. Then question. Then read a contradicting opinion. Then think again. Ask more questions. Expect the media to work for you & get the answers you need to know. If you’re satisfied with the answers, then you need to think harder. Because we work for you, to inform you, to make you think, not the other way around.