Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Age of Tabloidization

After some extensive research it seems that experts all agree that after the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal, the media's role switched from reporting to sensationalism and tabloidization.

There have been sex scandals since the beginning of our country. Thomas Jefferson is said to have slept with many slaves and had children by a handful of them. John F. Kennedy--a president that captured the hearts of the nation, inspired a change in the nation's outlook, and is often compared to our current president--was thought to have had an explicit affair with sex icon Marilyn Monroe.

But most experts agree that after the Clinton scandal, the media began to expose and outpour a string of sex scandals in its wake.

In its aftermath, the public became hungry for more tales of deceit and scandal. SNL skits ran wild with the echos of "I did not have sexual relations with that woman." In fact they still have Darryl Hammond appear as old Bill himself in its most recent season. Sex scandals were on the front page of every newspaper, as more and more details unfolded. The media portrayals sounded more like a developing soap opera than an actual news report.

Figures like Eliot Spitzer and John Edwards to name a few fell into the same media frenzy--feeding the public's thirst for a juicy scandal.

So was it the technology of the "Age of Information" that sparked the media's obsession with sex scandal? Was it the shock of the news breaking while our president was still in term?

What made the Clinton scandal different from the rest and why did it spark the media's and the public's need for more?

....More research needed!

1 comment:

  1. Schadenfreude -- pleasure derived from the misfortune of others. It is a powerful emotion, indicative of the powerlessness most media consumers feel in their own lives. Thus, they will seek out, read and enjoy information about the downfall of the powerful.