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Whitney Houston’s death not worth all the media hoopla

By DOUG THOMPSON
February 13, 2012

Whitney Houston: Another junkie loses the battle

Over the last three days, President Barack Obama tried to put out the political fire his administration started over forcing faith-based organizations to administer birth control.

Mitt Romney scored a twofer with wins in the Maine caucus and the Conservative Political Action straw poll.

We started getting a hint what the President’s budget will look like and what we see doesn’t look good.

You may have missed all this because starting Saturday morning all news outlets — broadcast, print and Internet — carpet bombed our senses with nonstop coverage of a drug-addict celebrity who apparently took a combination of drugs and boozed and died in the bathtub of a posh Beverly Hills hotel.

Pop singer Whitney Houston died.  Early reports say she fell victim to the same drugs and booze lifestyle that destroyed her once prominent singing career.  Any death is sad and when a death comes from self-inflicted obsessions it marks an endemic problem with our society.

But was her death worth all the hoopla, the news coverage and the breathless interviews with other celebrities who saw her death as a chance to get in front of a camera?

No, it wasn’t, but the attention shows how shallow our celebrity-infected culture has become.

Capitol Hill Blue searched “Whitney Houston” on Google news and you get 28,300 results.  Search “Barack Obama” and you get 23,400.  “Mitt Romney” brings 23,800.  The Afghan war brings just 11,300.  President Obama’s budget? Just 80 results.

Network newscasts spent more time on Houston’s death than on the Presidential race and Capitol Hill news combined. The Afghan war didn’t make it on a single weekend newscast.

Whitney Houston was a talented singer with a golden voice who had everything in the world going for her.  She chose to drown that talent with booze and pills.  As a recovering alcoholic, I understand struggling with the beast of addiction.

Houston chose to give in to the beast.  Early autopsy results who a mixture of booze and prescription drugs in her system — always a deadly combination.

She chose her path and it killed her. End of a sad story. She’s not the first celeb to kill herself with an excessive lifestyle and she won’t be the last.  She joins a not-so-exclusive list that includes John Belushi, Chris Farley, River Phoenix and too many more.

That’s a fact but is it also the biggest story of the weekend?

We shing not.

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10 Responses to Whitney Houston’s death not worth all the media hoopla

  1. Sandy Price

    February 13, 2012 at 10:18 am

    Thank you Doug Thompson! I, for one find Houston’s voice annoying and in search of more emotion than musical ability. Years ago it was pointed out that children raised on Bach and Mozart often develop highest IQ scores. These children often take an academic interest in the music itself.

    I’ve tried on several occasions to bring a truly beautiful piece of music or an exceptional voice to RR and it fell as flat as my interest in individual freedoms.

    America listens to commercials. Whitney Houston was the story for the weekend. Who does she really relate to? Who will be next as we see the death numbers growing in Athens. Remember Athens, it was the center of Democracy.

    Nothing shines in America any more.

  2. James

    February 13, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    Really Doug? You struggled with Addiction, so you must know it is a disease, and yet you find it so easy to say she killed herself so lets move on? What is so wrong celebrating a person who inspired millions by her God given talent?whatever mistakes she’s made she has now paid with her life and is no longer on this earth, so I think paying proper respects is appropriate. and your judgmental attitude is off putting. Mitt Romney and Obama will get their news coverage for months and months to come.

    Let Whitney have her moment. and its not the media, People around the world are mourning her death because she mattered.

  3. Sandy Price

    February 13, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    It was just announced on Good Morning America that the 18 year old daughter of Whitney and her husband was just released from the hospital after a bout with anxiety.

    I grew up with this same problem and saw my father and mother die of drugs and alcohol and my days were filled with what comes next, day after day. Their deaths finished what was my stress but not for long. I came apart when my first husband was discovered to be addicted to child porn. I took my baby and ran for my life. I often felt that I must be tainted by the weakness of those around me.

    I married a college professor who had no vices. I took on his son because the boy had a mother addicted to drugs and self pity. I soon had J.J. and felt a sense of permanency that did not last long when Ray became addicted to his secretary. I carried this as my own personal weakness and even thought about easing the stress with drugs. My cousins had plenty to share but I did not want to put my beautiful girls in the same position that nearly destroyed me.

    I fell into my addiction of books and opening my girls into the world of culture, arts, literature and, of course Shakespeare. He explained it all and it was my job to locate the key. Actually it was my older girl who analyzed the works of Shakespeare and even explained the meter of his words with musical symbolism.

    I honestly explained by background of stress and it all fell into place when my older girl was qualifying for a certificate as a Psychologist in California. She passed and I stayed on for another day just in case my stress had been passed down to her. My girl saw what was driving me and she understood it. J.J. has always been the peace maker in the family and never questioned my actions or reactions and my family ended up quietly secure in our own skins.

    I can only hope that Whitney’s daughter can find some good and honest help from someone and stay the hell away from the musical world of pop culture.

    She will never have to work for her keep but she must keep her mind clear of that enchanting world of enhancement through drugs that drove her parents as well as mine.

  4. Carl Nemo **==

    February 13, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    “Whitney Houston’s death not worth all the media hoopla”…extract from lead line

    I’d class this as a mean-spirited article Mr. Thompson. It would have been in better taste not to use Ms. Houston’s death for comparative analysis concerning what you think is more important relative to media coverage.

    I remember when your skivvies got all twisted when myself and a few others made some negative comments about Tim Russert’s passing a few years back relative to his slanted, regime friendly reporting bias. We were scolded mightily for having done so and the fact that we caused you much grief concerning our ‘low life’ behavior blah..blah! I promised myself after that brouha that I would never again make any comments other than positive or nothing if someone’s passing becomes an article in the news posted to this forum.

    As of the 2010 census there’s 42 million black Americans. I’m sure there are black Americans that didn’t care for her music as no doubt other ethnicities, but just the same she provided listening pleasure to millions and deserves some amount of feating and eulogizing on the part of the MSM.

    Tragically the woman had drug/alcohol related problems that finally led to her demise, but using her death for one of your now seemingly chronic, ill thought out, ‘hit’ articles is tasteless and might even be construed by some that you have a racist bone or two in your body.

    I’m sorely disappointed in your ‘reporting’ of late…! : |

    Carl Nemo **==

  5. Jon

    February 13, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    Minor detail – It’s not birth control, it’s conception control.

    J.

  6. Jon

    February 13, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    In other details, Whitney Houston was a human being, and as such deserving of all the respect due unto one of them.

    I’m with Mr. Nemo on this.

    That you may have overcome your own internal demons doesn’t make those who didn’t any less than human – it would make you better than they, if you acted like it – and insults and insinuations are not really called for.

    Thank you,

    Jon

  7. woody188

    February 13, 2012 at 10:28 pm

    It’s back page news at best, but so is the Super Bowl so far as I am concerned. It is sad that entertainment news (infotainment) is what passes for real news these days. I’ve lamented the same many times over. This is why I’ve turned to the Internet and citizen reporters/blogs for the majority of my news. Can’t find real news any where else except perhaps the Daily Show once in a while.

    Oh the irony, that a “fake news show” on Comedy Central is more hard hitting than your average network nightly news. My how the Fourth Estate has fallen so low… Can’t really call it a separate estate any longer. Just a another part of the big plantation.

  8. Carl Nemo **==

    February 15, 2012 at 1:05 am

    “It’s back page news at best, but so is the Super Bowl so far as I am concerned.” …extract from post

    Really now…!? Based on your writing skills and use of lyrics, poetry and references to music and groups that perform such on occasion, it stuns me that you would refer to Ms. Houston’s body of work as ‘back page news’. : (

    Hopefully you realize I am one of your most avid supporters of what you write over time, but am stunned that you would relegate Ms. Houston to the back page…?!

    I’m savvy and get your drift; but, for you to support that idea that she wasn’t worthy of the coverage that was provided by the MSM and as being over the top is somewhat disingenuous to say the least.

    If anyone on this site, I would have thought you would have supported James, Jon’s and my sentiments concerning the bad taste of this article.

    Carl Nemo **==

    • Jon

      February 15, 2012 at 7:38 pm

      I don’t believe that Publisher Thompson is really trying to denigrate Ms. Houston. He is doing so, but that’s not what he’s trying to do.

      What I think he is trying to do, in my opinion, is point out once more the complete uselessness of what is currently called ‘mass media’, and he does have a point, again in my opinion, that they are more concerned with meaningless fluff than serious news.

      After all, recall once more that the viewer of the TV news is not the customer. The viewer of the news is the product, and you’ve been sold down the river to the advertisers.

      It’s what they do, generally.

      Journalism isn’t even admissible on their expense accounts.

      But if you’re going to slam the media, please don’t abuse an otherwise unaffiliated person’s death to do so.

      Jon

  9. Randy

    February 20, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    Whitney Houston a role model for young women? If so, then I’m Mary Queen of Scotts.

    The media is so hyped up and spinning her life and pushing out misinformation, it’s sickening. She was no great performer who wrote her own songs, left no footprint that changed anyone’s life. She had a drug problem, had a great voice (but so do many other singers).

    ALL key facts about her have to be revised to make her some kind of icon:

    NEW revised hype:

    Claim: Whitney broke into the music industry with the world’s greatest voice.

    FACT: Whitney broke into the music industry with the world’s greatest show of nepotism.

    Claim: Her songs will live forever.

    FACT: All her hits were other people’s songs.

    Claim: She raised the profile of black music.

    FACT: Yeah….she’s right up there with Aretha Franklin…give me a break! Black singers hated the way she sang sugary white pop.

    This is so shameful of promoters to pull this on this poor woman. She had this beautiful voice, struggled with drugs…but was not an icon. Shame on the media whores.