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July 2, 2007

A June Without Paris Hilton (If Only)


I think I’m in love. Until a few days ago, I had no idea who Mika Brzezinsky even was. Now I adore her. On MSNBC’s the Morning Joe show, Brzezinsky was tasked with leading with the Paris Hilton jail fiasco as the top story. Brzezinsky, however, rebelled. She decided not to lead with that story, and in fact tried to literally set fire to the story on air. When that failed, she simply ripped it up.


Brzezinsky is an extremely rare example of a journalist who cares both about her profession, and about the American people. Americans during the month of June were hit with a barrage of Paris-related news. Her crime, her sentence, her first brief jail experience, her release, her other appearance in court, her other jail escapade, her second release, her post-jail life and her thoughts and reflections all throughout the process.


While Americans were being faced with this onslaught of useless, even revolting use of media time and effort, many more important things were going on in the world. While some of the actually consequential news was briefly transmitted to society in between relentless coverage of Paris’s various bathroom outings, others were completely looked over.


Now that June is behind us and many of us feel that we just might have missed out on some important happenings around the world, what follows is a summary of some of the events that occurred in that month that were improperly covered – or not covered at all – because reporters were too busy figuring out the exact shade of Paris’s jumpsuit color.


While the media has been busy expounding on Paris’s comfort in prison, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning to discard all toothpaste made in China after realizing that it could be poisonous. A few days later, Scooter Libby got a 30-month sentence for obstructing an investigation that had already been solved by Patrick Fitzgerald. In another legitimate legal drama, Mike Nifong got disbarred for ruining the lives of three innocent young men at Duke.


Throughout June, the Lebanese army continued its fight against Fatah al-Islam, a terrorist organization that has caused the most serious internal fighting since the end of the Lebanese civil war. On June 13, a pro-government Lebanese MP was killed by a car bomb along with nine others, further exacerbating a tense political situation that has far-reaching consequences for the Middle East.


On the day Paris was set to begin her jail term, the Spanish Basque separatist group ETA declared the end of a 15-month ceasefire. The United States fired on its own terrorists in Somalia, and arrested several suspects over the Kennedy Airport terrorism plot back home. A few days later, Indonesian police announced the arrest of the leader of the group responsible for the Bali bombings.


A new tribe of indigenous people was discovered in the Amazon Rainforest. That’s right. New human beings were discovered. How many Americans heard about that? Now, how many Americans heard about how much Paris cried after being ordered to go back to jail? New human beings, for crying out loud. Hundreds of people were also found in China serving as slaves. Seven hundred suspected pedophiles and criminals were arrested worldwide, and many children were rescued.


Palestine split into two, because two parties to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict were apparently not enough. The Space Shuttle Atlantis went to space with seven astronauts on board, too selfish to take Paris with them. Another nice place to send Paris, the Western Sahara, was again in the spotlight (not for the American media, however) after Morocco and the Polisario started a new round of negotiations.


Fourteen died in a helicopter crash in Mongolia (part of the newsworthiness of this, of course, being that there are helicopters in Mongolia). Nine firefighters failed to survive a large warehouse fire in South Carolina. The British dealt with a new round of attempted terrorist attacks, as they welcomed a new prime minister following a decade of Tony Blair. Their national security threat level was raised to the highest possible, the equivalent of “red” in the United States. And not because Paris was released from jail.


Michael Bloomberg abandoned the Republican Party, raising questions about 2008. Chemical Ali was sentenced to follow his boss to Hell. After a painful month, some Senators finally listened to the people who elected them about the immigration bill. The Bald Eagle ceased to be an endangered species. A report showed that China has surpassed the United States in greenhouse gas emissions. The head of the Catholic Church in Zimbabwe asked the British to invade his country to save its people from the terror of President Robert Mugabe.


This is only a small fraction of important events that took place in the month of June, while Americans were forced by CNN and Fox News and other media to follow Paris into court, jail, then the jail bathroom. The Brazilians found new human beings. The Middle Eastern two-state solution has now turned into a three-state question. And we are dumbing ourselves down to Paris’s level. How nauseating.

© 2007 North Star Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.


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