Today, I received some business advice that led me to focus on Twitter. Incidentally, this person appears to be correct, but that is not the point of my post.
Trending for most of the day was #LamarOdom. An athlete and former Kardashian lover. I guess … I didn’t know who he was before this morning.
What I know is this: he was found unconscious at a brothel. With cocaine in his system. He is fighting for his life. Clearly, he has some demons that he hasn’t been dealing with successfully. I am sorry for him … sorry that he has evidently let his demons control him.
However, his story dominated national news this morning, but a three-year-old child found dead has been buried under the news of Lamar’s tragedy at a brothel. And this makes me sad. And angry.
Recently I reached out to several media outlets to shed a light on some dangers associated with adjusting antidepressant medication. No outlet has responded, but they have promoted a variety of celebrity news, romantic advice, and other non-news-worthy topics.
This situation is just one example of the many reasons that, although I believe I could have been a successful journalist, I chose to abandon the ambition. Sadly, celebrity — whether it be of the athletic, reality, or TV/Movie star sort — trumps real news.
A celebrity running away from his demons by self-medicating with drugs and/or alcohol and overdosing trumps a mom struggling with post-partum depression. Or parents whose child is missing. Or parents who are struggling with a troubled child. Or a child who shoots another because the victim didn’t let the shooter pet her puppy.
Sometimes my heart breaks that what I once yearned to do now fills me with shame. As a teenager and young college student, I naively thought I could influence the public with my articles and journalistic integrity. But all too quickly, I realized that what I would write would not be true to my morality, dignity, or sense of what is right. Rather, it would be forced to promote an employer’s agenda.
Tonight I am sad. That an athlete allowed his demons to control him. And that the media depends upon celebrities to generate traffic, income, and reach. Instead of the rest of us … the parents of the little boy found dead in New Jersey. The everyday moms who struggle with post-partum depression. The regular, non-celebrity women who combat anxiety and panic attacks and lack of self worth.
I am not a journalist because I cannot ignore the struggles of the rest of us. The non-celebrities, non-athletes, non-reality-stars. I want to speak for us, and unfortunately, that means that I cannot be what I once dreamed of being.