I know firsthand that media types who mention Paris Hilton (or Britney Spears) are likely to hear harangues from readers/viewers/listeners turned off by all the celebrity worship that's on the air and on websites. But even on a blog about Hollywood fashion? Monica Corcoran at the LAT's All the Rage, who struck a nerve with a post asking if Hilton was passe as a celebrity, felt the need to post a defense of her crime. Reader comments that ensued were brutal.
Ed Note: Yesterday, I posted below that Paris Hilton's movie bombed and hence, her overexposure had finally done her in. Many readers responded here by pummeling me for even posting about Hilton. A few even accused me of being on her publicity payroll.
Look, I'm disgusted by the popularity of Paris Hilton....
When I see a picture of a young girl waiting in line to have her picture taken with a woman best known for a sex tape, I want to jump off a building. But I would also love to know what drives you to seek out these stories in the first place? The Times' coverage of Paris Hilton's arrest was our #1 story in 2007. The Britney Spears coverage and Heath Ledger stories are widely read too. Are we the media acting as the horse or the cart? And if we are the horse and the cart, aren't you all feeding us the hay?
Some of the comments directed her way — and more generally at the Times for inflating its web traffic with celebrity puffery — are below:
:"Seriously, Monica. How far does a journalists's career have to fall before being assigned or volunteering to "write" about this drivel. Is there nothing else worthwhile to report on in the world? Or are you on Ms. Hilton's publicity payroll?"
"Why does the LA TImes still print stories about Paris? And here we have yet another story, this one telling us that Paris Hilton is "done." Apparently for the LA Times, there still some mileage left in the old girl. The rest of us don't care."
"If Paris' brains were dynamite, she could not blow her nose. As several other readers said, who cares about this zero-talent dimwit?"
"I didn't click on your story out of interest in Ms. Hilton, but out of curiosity as to why the L.A. Times has turned Hacks into Flacks. Keep on shilling for Stars if you like, but even you must know it's not exactly Pulitzer material, or you wouldn't be so defensive about your work."
And a response from Corcoran:
What I find fascinating is the fact that YOU people actually click on this story and then castrate me for writing about her. Clearly, you--my friends--are driving the cart and feeding this cult of celebrity worship. The Britney Spears articles were our top stories recently. What does that say about readers? Why do you even click if you don't want to read about her?