Friday, January 12, 2007

Is mean-spiritedness popular in US?

The scandalous behaviour of the current Miss USA Tara Conner lead to the contest's organiser Donald Trump to give her a second chance.

This has caused a feud between the well known Donald Trump and Rosie O'Donnell. These two people are in the public eye, Donald for his wealth-creating entreprenurial pursuits and Rosie, the Emmy-winning talk show host.

Rosie initiated the first blow of words on the ABC's daytime talk show The View, where she is the co-host. The Americans seem to take an infantile fascination to the name calling that is going on between Donald and Rosie.

Judging by the fervour this unseemly story is analyzed even by the mainstream media, it would appear that both parties may continue the relentless attack. Apparently it is good for their business. It may be hard to believe that there is an audience interested in people taking cheap shots.

But this shouldn't be a surprise if one looks at what is happening in the media and entertainment industry today.

In the interconnected and globalized world, who has not heard of the singing and talent contest the American idol - unless one is living in some inaccessible remote corner of the Himalayan mountains.

The American Idol's success has inspired many other countries to produce their own vesions of the Idol series. One of the judges in the American Idol, Simon Cowell, has become notorious for his blunt and often controversial criticism of the contestants.

Whereas previously it was bad manners to belittle a person in public, today there are TV and media personalities who make their career to do so.

This trend would not have taken off in America and elswhere in the world unless there is a willing and gullible audience who at some level enjoy the misfortunes of others while publicly protesting that this is not the case.

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