Monday, September 07, 2009

Do You Gossip?

The grocery store checkout line usually moves rather quickly, but tonight the guy in front of me held it up, trying to get his club membership discount.
I didn't mind. Every $5 counts these days. I'm happy to let him save his.

To pass the time, I glanced at the magazines stocked in the impulse purchase racks. One of them had a picture of Tori Spelling on the cover (looking fabulous) with her husband and the headline, "Tori's Loveless Marriage".

Disgusted, I looked away. But as I whiled the time, my eyes landed there again. I thought, "How do they know? Why is it anybody's business? If their marriage does have troubles, how does a headline like that help them heal? Disgusting."

I turned to the woman waiting behind me and said, "What a horrible thing to print in a headline!" and indicated the magazine.

"It's just there to sell magazines. " She replied, in agreement it seemed.

"I just won't buy those kinds of magazines." I said, then glancing at the InStyle magazine among my purchases I explained, "InStyle only photographs celebrities on the Red Carpet and at charity events, so they have permission and the stars expect it and are prepared, and can interview them properly. And features in their homes, where of course they have permission."

I moved up to have the cashier start ringing my items.

Continuing the conversation with the woman behind me, I said; "That's why I won't buy magazines like that. The one's whose pictures are all from paparazzi. I can't stand it."

The cashier chimed in, "But those are the best ones!"

Oh, I was shocked and fought the urge to slap some sense into her.
Instead I said, "If they're at an event and can expect to be photographed it's one thing. But to stalk them outside their homes when they're just taking the kids out for ice cream... it's just not right. "

I hoped I had made my point.
But I doubted that I had, so I added, "I guess because I'm a trained journalist I find it that much more despicable."

The cashier gave up, but I sparked an interest in the woman behind me, with whom I had started the conversation.

Now she wanted to know who I worked for and stressed the importance of Journalism.
That was so good to hear in this day and age, where respect for journalists is lower than that of used car salesmen and ambulance chasing attorneys.

The woman behind me lifted me up a little. And while I was frustrated to know one more person (the cashier) loves those trashy rags, it was good to know there is one more person in America who understands the value of journalism - and how to tell a hoax from a real journalist.

One point for the rank and file.