Today I set out to ply the media with a dynamite pitch - a client is coming to town, and fueled by some great quotes about the retail selling season, I set out to share valuable information that I know they can use.
I suppose I shouldn't be shocked anymore...it's the nature of the media beast, and I've encountered it in my PR career so many times before. Today I was summarily dismissed because every editor and reporter I called is busy, or perhaps even obsessed with the news (news?) of Tiger Woods' infidelity. Stupid, stupid Judy! Why would you think that a news source with real information should supersede the news that a sports star went beyond his marriage to quell his raging hormones? THIS the news that American people need to know? This is the news American people will hunt down and pay for? Yes it is, and hence the media will research every nuance of this story. How the lusting libidos met, why he strayed, what his wife did to win him back, how many times did the illicit couple do it and where, what's their favorite position...this news sells newspapers - even in a day and age when newspapers are practically antiques.
I sit here behind my computer wondering what kind of ridiculous society we are--that information on someone's sex life is deemed "breaking news" and economic news during the Christmas selling season is deemed dusty seconds.
Why am I still shocked by this - twenty plus years after I launched my PR career? My first real encounter with media was back in college. I was chosen to interview Paul Newman at Brooklyn College in front of thousands of screaming fans. I prepared meticulously and performed almost flawlessly (except for one moment when I let myself get lost in his aqua eyes and forgot the question I was going to ask) and the nightly news asked me about the experience of interviewing Paul Newman.
I replied that we, at the Brooklyn College Film Society were so grateful for his participation in our event.
When I flipped on the news that evening, I sadly noted that my quote was cut from the broadcast, replaced by screaming girls who were sitting in the front row, who reported, "He is soooo dreamy!"