AP makes right decision by denying Paris precious press

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Paris Hilton makes headlines even when she’s boycotted. For one week, the Associated Press temporarily nixed the oversexed celebutante from all its articles. She was mentioned three times, but only in background information in other celebrity-related articles.

For anyone who doesn’t know, Associated Press is a media co-operative covering news worldwide and boasting thousands of employees and clients. Intentionally excluding Hilton from its articles resulted in thousands of press houses being sans Paris for one glorious week.

Naturally, the decision raised questions and concerns about censorship. Who else will be banned? Should they be banned? While these are valid questions, banning Paris Hilton doesn’t set my spidey sense a-tingling.

We all love a little celebrity gossip now and then. Countless tabloids are constantly littered with stories about Hilton’s drunk driving and sexcapades " even The Gazette’s pages.

But how many times does Hilton’s acid-wash hair have to grace covers and headlines before papers look more like brochures for the Church of Hilton than gossip rags? Whatever happened to journalistic integrity?

Maybe the Associated Press’ decision will start a revolution. Next Britney Spears’ now-shaven head will be banned followed by Anna Nicole Smith (although news of her is already fading quickly...rest in peace).

I don’t think there really are any negative side-effects associated with this ban " except perhaps its week-long limit. With a gradual boycott of non-news Hollywood gossip, our favourite celebs might actually stop screwing themselves over daily.

I think a correlation exists between the media spotlight and stress-related drama " Lindsay Lohan’s partying, Spears’ shaven head, Madonna’s law-breaking adoption practices, etc.

Rumours in high school were enough to make you feel like your life was over. However, unlike those rumours " whose recipients were often your crush or your “mean girl” nemesis " tabloids have a national audience. I’d hate to walk a mile in a celebrity’s shoes... as attractive as those shoes may be.

Censorship aside, I think this ban is a great idea and should be implemented again. It’s not like the Hiltons need more publicity anyway. Now if we could only stop writing columns about them.

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