17 December, 2009

What's newsworthy anymore?

By Jorge Reyes

It's been a scandal-filled month. Most of the scandals have nothing to do with corrupt politicians or anything of a boring nature. Every one of these scandals involve sex and celebrities, of course. The most popular of them is, of course, Tiger Woods, the golf player. There are others and they have become equally titilating: the escort turned New York Post columnist, Ashley Dupre, and the state of Nevada, where male prostitution was finally legalized.

It's a shame TV evangelist Oral Roberts passed away this week, otherwise he would have raved and ranted against the promiscuous libertine sexual revolution of our current society. I'd hate to agree with him, but he's partially correct.

First the really juicy story, or the award for the most overrated news report, which is the Tiger Woods scandal. More and more women are coming to the fray claiming to have had tryists with Woods. These ladies have taken great steps to give a lot of details about the where, how, and when. Woods, of course, seems to have an affirmative action quota of sorts: all his mistress either have the same job-- either cocktail waitress, bouncers at clubs, or porn actress-- and he seems to like one type of woman-- white and predominantly blonde, like his wife.

Not sure if this is a joke or not, but his sexual indiscretion has given cause for a Tiger Woods Syndrome, or paranoid wives concerned that their nice, sweet, loving husbands may be having extramarital affairs.

For the sports world of golf and for Woods himself there's a far more serious consequence than all these women claiming to have had sex with him and that is the professional and personal loss of income he might experience in 2010. Advertisers have either dropped him already as in the case of the consulting company Accentura which paid him a reported $7 million a year, or are contemplating dropping him such as A&T. There are others.

Sexier story still is Ashley Dupre, the high price hooker who brought down ex NY governor Eliot Spitzer in 2008. I'm sure that neither Spitzer nor Dupre merit an introduction. When their sexual relationship was discovered, the news media simply saturated the airwaves with their story. The scandal doesn't seem to have affected Dupre's professional advancement. The same cannot be said of Spitzer. Dupre, it seems, has landed a regular advice column in the New York Post called aptly titled “Ask Ashley”. She answers questions close to her heart (and line of work) such as sex, love and relationships. The New York Post is unapologetic about this and seems to be basking in their own business savvy.

It's ironic, of course, that Dupre hasn't been one of Woods alledged mistress. In such closed-off world of high price prostitution and rich men, everyone seems to know each other.

But you never know. The Tiger Woods story is far from over and Ashley Dupre could have a few surprises in store for us. Time will tell.

But Woods and Dupre are not the only sexual creatures making headlines these days.

Ever heard of the Shady Lady Ranch? If you think it's some sort of religious cult a la Oral Roberts, you are wrong. It's actually a legal brothel in Nevada whose current owner, Bobbi Davis, must be in heaven these days-- figuratively speaking. You see, state officials in Nevada have finally legalized male prostitution, a profession illegal up until this point.

Female prostitution is nothing new in Nevada. It has been legal in that state since 1971. Prostitution is nothing new anywhere, of course, it has been part of every culture in any period of history. But male prostitutes in Nevada were out of luck since they were barred from this old (and often lucrative) profession due to a specific health law that called for prostitutes to have frequent cervical medical checkups for sexual transmitted diseases. Cervical medical checkups can only be done on women. But with the approval of urethra testing, which can be done on men, the male ban against male prostitution was lifted, and lo and behold, males can finally enter this profession hitherto blocked from them.

I'd dare say that soon we will have our very own infamous male Dupre. Watch for it.

Asides from the scandalous nature of any of these stories currently being disseminated as substantial news reports, I tend to think that none of them merit the level of media scrutiny that they have received. Sex sells and that's been proven, but respectable media organizations should know better.

As a nation we have lost all sense of proportionality, caring very little for degrees or levels of privacy which is at the core of the Tiger Woods scandal and many others. In Woods case, he is a public figure and the public needs to scrutinize the actions of its leaders and heroes, but I tend to think that there is a limit to how much we need to know, particularly if this involves a person's stupid actions which only concern his wife and his pozee of women, and then us, the public. Yet, news organizations have become saturated with his story and not one of them has refused to give fair time to the ever-growing number of women alleging they were his mistresses, regardless of whether their stories are true or not. Even if true, their stories on TV or the print media should have been limited in nature.

Many people in our society have become exhibitionist and we, in turn, we have become voyeuristic. Anyone, and I mean anyone, can claim to have something of any substance to say and we give them plenty of airtime, no matter how foolish and off the wall their claims might be.

The scandalous, I guess, has become the substantive and as a people we can't tell the difference any longer. And that, my friends, is a problem.


PerfectGirl said...

I don't see a difference anymore between the "legitimate" media and the more tabloid news reports of TV shows, FOX, and National Inquirer. All are not necessarily out to report the news in a respectful and detailed way. All are out to get more and more ratings and the scandalous sells.

Final Verdict said...

This article seems dated. TMZ had a report that Tiger Woods was on the brink of a divorce with his wife. The report mentioned there is a prenuptial for $20 million settlement. But others say that prenuptials can always be changed and some have said that Woods wife can walk away with as much as $500 millions which is a staggering amount of money!

Anonymous said...

Now that men can be hookers and make as much money as women I think that prostitution will be legalized across the states.