When tragedy strikes someone famous, whether it is an athlete, actor/actress, or a model, the world hears about it because it gets so much media attention due to the person’s high ranking status. For days after the tragedy strikes, depending on what happens, the media reports updates so the world can know how the person is doing and what exactly is happening.
The part that makes me mad, and I’m sure I’m not alone in this, is when the media strays away from what is important (the person’s condition) and puts attention on other people who don’t necessarily deserve the attention.
For example, a big story in the news recently has been the nearly fatal overdose of basketball player Lamar Odom. Odom was found unconscious in a Las Vegas brothel due to a drug overdose and was in a coma for several days. Doctors were not sure if Odom would ever wake up, and even if he did they were unsure of how much brain damage he would sustain.
But, instead of focusing solely on Odom’s condition, the media’s attention was forced to the Kardashian family, and how Khloe was “coping with the situation.”
It’s fine to bring attention to the victim’s family, I mean Khloe was his wife and they technically aren’t divorced yet. Because the Kardashians are a high profile family and get so much media attention, the media outlets began to shift their attention to make the headlines about the Kardashian family and how they were dealing with the situation instead.
Headlines from E! News included: “French Montana on Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom-’I am really proud of her”, “Khloe Kardashian breaks her silence on Lamar Odom-’Incredible strides have been made”, “Khloe Kardashian seen by Lamar Odom’s side as he leaves Las Vegas hospital” and countless others.
Now, not all of their headlines were like this, but instead of just keeping it about Odom and his condition, E! News would make sure to include information about the whole Kardashian family. I follow E! News on Twitter and I followed this situation with Odom, and almost all of the articles mentioned someone from the Kardashian family.
They gave updates as to who was at the hospital and they shared pictures from Kourtney, Kim, and Kylie’s Instragram when they posted pictures of Odom asking their followers to pray for him.
I’m not totally blaming the media here because I don’t entirely think that it is their fault. They were just reporting what they were seeing. I think that some of the blame has to be put on the Kardashian family.
Out of respect for Odom’s children and other immediate family members, the Kardashian clan could of stayed silent on social media as to not draw anymore unnecessary attention to themselves. Khloe did just that; she didn’t post anything on social media until Odom woke up and she knew he was going to be okay.
The Kardashians are an extremely high profile family. In Hollywood, they’re like royalty, so it’s expected that the paparazzi will follow them around. I just think that they could have done more to keep themselves out of the media during his crisis.
A lot of people, especially in the Sports world, were outraged that the Kardashian name was being associated with this heartbreaking situation. People seem to associate Odom with the Kardashian family and forget that he’s an accomplished basketball star.
I think Scott Van Pelt said it best, “Kardashian reality star? No, no, no, no. Lamar Odom, unlike those for whom fame is oxygen, whose fame comes in the absence of accomplishment, his fame was earned.”
For the Kardashian family, who don’t have any real talent besides posing for magazine covers, they need to stay relevant, so they do so by taking advantage of situations like this to get their name out there.
Is it the media’s fault for feeding into the buzz surrounding the Kardashian family? I don’t think so entirely because they have to report the news. I think the Kardashian family needs to learn respect and not be so concerned with how many headlines they are making.
Keeley Gould is a fourth-year student majoring in English and minoring in journalism. She can be reached at KG787739@wcupa.edu.