Science and Tragedy Pushed Aside for Sheen

Monday, March 14th, 2011

On Friday night's 7PM project, Dale Dominey-Howes from the Australian Tsunami Research Center UNSW was explaining what caused the tragic tsunami that hit Japan. But about 90 seconds in Dale was cut short - I presumed to get to other coverage of the tsunami. But no...

After one more quick news story, most of the rest of the show was dedicated to their exclusive interview with Charlie Sheen. Really? That's more important? Probably thousands of people are dying and whole towns are getting wiped out in one of the worst natural disasters ever and the 7PM Project wants to talk to a celebrity drug addict.

I realize the 7PM Project is a fairly light-hearted look at the news, but it reminded me of this from a few weeks ago:

"Charlie Sheen is all over the news because he's a celebrity drug addict while Andrew Wilfahrt 31, Brian Tabada 21, Rudolph Hizon 22, Chauncy Mays 25, are soldiers who gave their lives this week with no media mention. Please honor them by posting this as your status for a little while."

Pleasingly this did go viral on Facebook and Twitter (see full story) and shows that people do care - unfortunately just not enough. Jeff Wilfahrt, father of one of the soldiers says:

Get this on the front headlines and make people aware of what’s going on. That’s what I’d do if I was king. But I'm just an unemployed 58-year-old man in Minnesota who misses his son.

I agree, but the blame for these media coverage fails lies with us the general public. The media knows all to well that any celebrity gone wrong story is a winner. Just like a car accident, fallen celebrity stories are hard to look away from - but next time try to just turn the page or switch channels. If enough of us do the media will pay attention.

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