Unless living in a world where supermarkets and their ubiquitous tabloids at checkout don't exist, everybody knows what killed Whitney Houston. Was it then necessary yesterday to make the just released result of her autopsy a news item? Perhaps it's "news" but let's agree that it is of very little importance. Especially on a day when there was a coup in Mali and a student-protest of more than 200 000 people in Montréal. A day when the Sanford Chief of police in Florida temporarily stepped-down in the wake of the Trayvon Martin murder and less we forget, a day when tragedy continues in Syria and a day when the blood was still warm in Toulouse.
Whitney's voice was grandiose and the songstress will forever be part of contemporary music's DNA. That's what we should keep on talking about.
The news of the autopsy report comes with judgement and most likely, that's what bothers me the most. That and the fact that the news has very little journalistic value. I had a similar unpleasant aftertaste following the death of Amy Winehouse. So much ink had been wasted reporting Winehouse's drug consumption. But like Whitney, it wasn't recreational use but rather consumption as anaesthesia. Anaesthesia, to numb the pain. And who hasn't done that? Some with shopping, others with Nutella. Like many of us, Whitney took a wrong turn, made questionable choices, and didn't get back on the right path; at least not on time. It happens.
Yes, it happens, but surely it shouldn't make the front page nor the evening news especially when her legacy is one of greatest. I'm not sure if the problem is the newsroom or us, not complaining enough about what we're fed. There are enough entertainment news shows that cover celebrities' personal lives. Is it then too much to ask from the other media organizations to concentrate on news that matters?
I worry that soon for every geopolitical or public interest news story, there will be one about La La-Land. For every report on Gaza, there will be one on Gaga. For every news story on Beirut, there will be one on Beyoncé. When that happens, we'll have a problem, Houston.