Earlier this week, two pop-culture news stories broke in the media – Clay Aiken announced he’s gay and Lindsey Lohan announced she and Samantha Ronson are an item. To my disappointment, two of the most respected, well-known media outlets released the information without any regard for professionalism or poise.
The Chicago Tribune called it, “Hollywood’s least surprising revelations,” and Newsweek called it, “Gay: Clay Aiken’s Overdue Honesty.” I call their comments inappropriate, suggestive, and lazy journalism.
Lohan laughed and answered, “For a very long time.”" type=”#_x0000_t75″ o:spid=”_x0000_s1026″>I think the most important issue here is the publications’ display of harsh stereotyping without even realizing it. Based strictly on visual observations, The Tribune and Newsweek (and probably many more) made assumptions and suggestions about these celebrities’ personal lives that were not factual until earlier this week. In doing so, they delivered a message I found to be inappropriate and unfortunate.
It is not the place of these hard news outlets to make judgments about others without facts. That is, after all, the definition of news.
Not to mention, journalism 101 teaches all its loyal students – If everybody knows it, it’s not news! If Aiken and Lohan’s personal lives were so unsurprising and overdue, why was it on the home page of The Chicago Tribune and Newsweek in the first place? Why did it make the full cover story of People Magazine?
The Tribune and Newsweek may have simply written about Clay Aiken and Lindsey Lohan’s announcements, but what I read was much different.