Get A Life columnist Loretta LaRoche laments Paris Hilton's coverage

First, I read that Paris Hilton was released from jail because of medical issues and would be allowed to finish her sentence at her home, tethered to an electronic monitoring device. Then, a little later in the day, she was ordered back to jail. This was just another bit of coverage of the ongoing saga of a celebrity gone mad.

This is not the first, nor will it be the last, of what has become part and parcel of the daily news. In fact, this type of inane and insipid news coverage is saturating the airwaves at an ever-increasing rate. Hours are spent showing us footage of Lindsay Lohan, Nicole Richie and Ms. Hilton going into and out of nightclubs, wearing little or nothing, looking bored out of their minds. We are informed of their drinking habits, the types of cars they drive and whom they are seeing or have dumped.

Hours and hours of air time and reams of newsprint are devoted to people whom my grandparents would have called "stonate." The lights are on but nobody's home.

Lindsay's mother parties with her, which is really nuts. I could just see my mother going out to a club with me at 20, watching me get progressively more intoxicated and acting out of control. Lots of luck! She would have followed me there with her huge spaghetti spoon in hand, while she yelled, "You'll pay for this."

What is wrong with these people? Why are they and their parents so clueless about creating a value system that speaks more to self-regulation than self-indulgence? You can use myriad excuses like they're young, they have money, etc. Fine! Let them do whatever they want, but stop giving them air time.

Dan Rather put it most succinctly: "Television news has been dumbed down and tarted up."

And our best defense is to turn it off and turn on to a good book.


Author, humorist, PBS star and Fortune 500 trainer Loretta LaRoche lives in Plymouth. To share your pet peeves, questions or comments, write to The Humor Potential, 50 Court St., Plymouth 02360; send e-mail to inquiry@lorettalaroche.com; visit the Web site www.stressed.com; or call toll-free 800-99-TADAH (82324).