Britney’s divorce breaking news on CNN?

I keep hearing from people who say that on Election Day here in the US, CNN actually broke into regular programming to announce Britney Spears is getting divorced. I didn’t see it myself, but I have heard it from several people who are not on drugs, and the websites for all major news sources certainly promoted it as “breaking news”.

On Election Day? “Britney Spears changes her coital habits! And, oh yeah, that Rumsfeld guy steps down and the Democrats take Congress.” It’s so bizarre, I want to make up a conspiracy theory to justify it: maybe Republican Britney agreed to let the press announce her divorce on Election Day in hopes of making Democrats not show up at the polls, as they sit and gnash their teeth in horror as the country’s favorite trailer trash couple disintegrates on live TV coverage. Nah… that’s pretty far-fetched.

The only theory that makes sense is: this is what the lauded free press considers to be our national priorities. And they may be right.

Comments

  1. sbg says

    Personally, I lost sleep last night over it. I worry for K-Fed’s career now.

    ::rolls eyes::

    Media is insane, I’ve decided. Kind of off topic, but last week my brother emailed me about how on CNN the lead story was about the evangelical sex/drug scandal in Colorado…and Fox’s top story on that same day was about a bull getting loose in Newark, New Jersey.

  2. MaggieCat says

    You know, I’m torn about this. On the one hand it’s appaling that they would interrupt election coverage for this sort of thing. (Especially considering that power in Congress changed hands- there have been years when I would have appreciated the diversion.)

    On the other, it means that probably less than a year from now Kevin Federline will be back to being a complete non-entity and that IS important (and good) news.

  3. scarlett says

    I think it has a lot to dowith the English-speaking wetsern world’s obsession with celebrity; we had a fortnight of footballer’s scadals as headline news while some major political scandals were going on.

  4. Jennifer Kesler says

    These things can also be intended to draw attention away from serious political events. I WAS joking about that in this case, but I’m thinking Monica Lewinsky: how many bombs did Clinton drop on Iraq while everyone was obsessing on his peccadilloes instead?

  5. SunlessNick says

    I suspect that that it’s mainly just catering to – maybe imagined, but in all depressing probability – celebrity addiction. And will probably herald another round of “Oh, she’s such a slut” (which might be another reason why she’s high up the news).

  6. says

    I want to make up a conspiracy theory to justify it: maybe Republican Britney agreed to let the press announce her divorce on Election Day in hopes of making Democrats not show up at the polls, as they sit and gnash their teeth in horror as the country’s favorite trailer trash couple disintegrates on live TV coverage. Nah… that’s pretty far-fetched.

    The only theory that makes sense is: this is what the lauded free press considers to be our national priorities. And they may be right.

    Even if your conspiract theory were correct, your alternative theory would also have to be correct in order for the conspiracy to work.

  7. says

    Such a slut? Really? I think that Kevin Federline probably is more looked down upon for the marriage than she is (because people look at him as a gold-digger). I suppose that there is a double standard in that, as people wouldn’t bat an eye at a non-celebrity woman marrying a celebrity man, but I think in this case the double standard is to look down on the man rather than the woman.

    This is likely related to a phenomenon that was mentioned somewhere else on this website, that behavior that is considered “slutty” when lower- or middle-class womnen do it is considered more acceptable for rich women. When the woman is seen as being in the position of power, I think that the man is the one to get ridiculed.

  8. SunlessNick says

    I don’t know a lot about him; I just remember the bile that got heaped on her for not remaining a virgin all the way unto her wedding day.

  9. Jennifer Kesler says

    I remember that, too. ;) I don’t remember anyone suggesting it was okay for the poster child for the Southern Baptist Convention’s Virgin Squad to have sex just because she was earning a lot of money.

  10. MaggieCat says

    Most of the criticism she received for not remaining a virgin until marriage had little to do with her soon-to-be-ex. When she was a teenager she was fairly vocal about planning to stay a virgin until she got married and then got hit with the hypocrite backlash after the press found out that she hadn’t. It was completely unfair, teenagers change their minds about everything- in fact I’d argue that’s kind of the point of being a teenager. And apparently none of the people controlling her career noticed that using a porn-star lite image for her performances while going for the sweet, Christian, girl next door image in interviews was bound to backfire on everybody the first time she tried to act like a normal kid.

    I think public opinion is on her side in the divorce- most people already decided he was sleazy and after her money after he left his pregnant girlfriend (who he already had one child with) for Spears. Whether it’s fair or not is obviously difficult to impossible to judge from a spectator’s seat.

  11. Jennifer Kesler says

    That’s okay – you gave a lot more insight.

    And apparently none of the people controlling her career noticed that using a porn-star lite image for her performances while going for the sweet, Christian, girl next door image in interviews was bound to backfire on everybody the first time she tried to act like a normal kid.

    I think it’s just that some people are so used to such preposterous levels of hypocrisy that it doesn’t occur to them others might not embrace their doublethink.

  12. Jennifer Kesler says

    Madonna pimped herself. At the time, that seemed like a real step forward for a woman in the entertainment industry, even though she still had to sell her sexuality before she could sell her music. Plus, she was always changing her sex object image. She started out looking like a street urchin, then she donned dresses and pretty hair, then she wore the scary metal bra, and then she did Evita. She didn’t have just ONE image, and that made her seem less of a defenseless sex kitten than a femme fatale.

    Britney represents a horrifying step backwards: not a woman, but a child being pimped simultaneously as a sex object and a Christian poster child. Just to be obnoxious, I like to assume there IS no contradiction in those two images: that Britney’s handlers believe that women are sex objects from birth, and “virgin” is just one of their objectifications. I mean, virgins used to be a commodity, and still are in parts of the world. It makes sense. ;)

    As much as I would love never, ever to hear about the woman again, I do agree that Spears has had a bum rap. And being pimped as she was when she was still a child, that raises red flags for me about parental fitness.

  13. MaggieCat says

    Yeah, it seems like they’ve gotten so used to controlling the public’s image of someone that they start to take that ability for granted and assume it will always work. Real people on the other hand, do know that the idea of the pure conservative girl who at the same time dresses and uses spectacle in the way that Spears’s handlers had her doing from such a young age is pretty much fictional, so of course the media jumped on any evidence of the inherent contradiction.

    I end up feeling bad for her, especially when someone says that she’s a victim of a culture that’s all too quick to brand someone with the ‘slut’ label or compares her to Madonna. The difference is that Madonna was always in control of her own image and made the choice to use her sexuality to her advantage, whereas I’m betting no one ever consulted Britney about it. I’d also guess that she was coached to mention the virgin thing so that parents would be more comfortable with their kids buying her merchandise. (“See? Sure she’s only wearing about 1 sq. ft. of fabric, but she’s a virgin. She’s a good influence!”) The industry was trying to have it both ways and the only person who ended up paying for it was her.

  14. scarlett says

    I actually wrote an article about that bachlash a while ago, it’s called ‘Like a Virgin’ and it’s buried in the archives somewhere.

  15. scarlett says

    ATM I’m reading a fascinating biography about Mae West, and how she made her sexuality work for her, rather then being a slave to it, and even while she was mocking herself, she was doing it from a position of power and confidence, which was different to most women, both then and today – there’s nothing about Briteny which makes me think she makes her sexuality work for her. It makes me think we’re going steadily backwards in our sex symbols :(

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