"Why are people so fascinated with this wedding?" the NY1 anchorwoman asked the field reporter on the scene in Rhinebeck, NY. The wedding in question is that of Chelsea Clinton, which I gather is taking place tomorrow. NY1 has created a graphic for the occasion that says "The Clinton-Mezvinsky Wedding." I had to laugh at that one, because seriously, nobody cares about the groom, but nice gesture.
Which brings me to my point, which is that -- so far as I can tell -- nobody really cares much about the bride, either. Why are people so fascinated? Which people? I personally would prefer that news organizations not devote any resources to covering this "story." If I want to read about celebrity weddings, there are glossy tabloids filled with news of same. I do not need updates on NY1, or CNN. This is not a matter of national importance. But the news media is committed to giving the impression that it is, because it's something they can cover without worrying too much about "balance" or "informed commentary." It's entertainment masquerading as news -- but they can hide behind the fact that Chelsea Clinton is the child of important government figures and pretend that makes her wedding a nationally significant affair. Gee, we'd love to report on the war in Afghanistan or the potential for climate-change legislation, but there's this wedding we've got to cover! It's basically a matter of state!
So, NY1 is showing footage shot from helicopters of white tents and green shrubbery and such, like it's the O.J. Simpson highway chase, rather than an event planned by a couple of families striving desperately for a modicum of privacy. And this reporter is on the ground in Rhinebeck, describing what she sees and what she's heard about the wedding. But, she notes, none of the details have been confirmed by the families. Attention "news" organizations: please take the hint. Try covering a red-carpet premiere or something else designed for your consumption. Or, at the very least, quit acting all miffed that the Clintons and Mezvinskys are keeping you in the dark, because it's you and not they (and not "people" in general) who are turning this into a media circus.
Someone on the street in Rhinebeck noted that, unlike Britain, our country has no royal family. True enough. But take heart -- we do have a self-obsessed, aggressively shallow mainstream news media. And they will hound the grown daughter of a former president all the way to the altar, despite her obvious desire to be left alone, and blame it on you and your insatiable appetite for details. I mean, really, why so fascinated, America?