This is news?

This is news?

: The Today show this morning reported on a career day in a California School in which a salesman gave out a list of careers that included, among scores of others, “stripper” and when an 8th grade boy asked about it — playing his part perfectly — the salesman made the mistake of telling them how much strippers make and how much more they make when surgically enhanced.

So it was a very stupid thing to do but the salesman knows it and the principal knows it and I trust that these 14 kids in this class are smart enough not to change their lives based on this two-minute discussion (“Mommy, can I get new boobs for Christmas?”).

But is this national news? Is this news at all? Is this a story that affects our lives? Is this a story that reveals some larger trend in society of which we should be aware? Is this a story that reveals a scandal and saves innocent victims?

Or is this pathetic pandering for ratings?

I vote the latter. It’s all terribly predictable: Local papers write about this; bookers see the story and know it will warm the heart of TV “news” producers, and on the air it goes. They know it’s not a real story, but if they try to treat it as a scandal, they hope it’ll get them water-cooler juice.

Meanwhile, this slub salesman is now branded as a child-corrupter and this school is slimed as Stripper U.

In the “news” segment of this “news” show, they also bravely reported about firemen freeing a kittie’s paws frozen to a fence.

Film at 11.

: Martha Feingold — citizen reporting from the scene! — adds this in the comments:

My kids go to that school, although they’re in the 7th grade, so didn’t go to career day. Leslie’s right, it’s a lot of nothing. We have a local daily paper that feeds on stories like this, my guess is one of the parents called them and they took it from there..and placed it above the fold. And the local and national media took the bait. Thank God I don’t work in TV news anymore. Note one of the 2 complaints came from a parent who said the guy inspired them to go after a career based on what they love to now he wants to be a fisherman. I guess that’s not good enough for Palo Alto.