Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

    The media's warped priorities are an outrage

    By now the world has heard that Hollywood’s ultimate power couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, affectionately known as Brangelina, is getting divorced. Jolie filed for divorce on September 20th, citing irreconcilable differences. The couple was married for two years, and together for a total of twelve years.
    Though the news of the split was shocking, how much coverage did it really need? Yes, both Pitt and Jolie are high-profile celebrities, but that status does not make them less entitled to privacy. “Brangelina” may be the quintessential celebrity couple, but they are just as much human beings as are your average citizens.
    That being said, the lives of “average citizens” are just as important as the lives of celebrities, and that’s why CNN’s coverage of Brangelina’s breakup as opposed to news about the murder of another black man is so outrageous.
    Forty year old Terrence Crutcher was on the side of the road in Tulsa, Oklahoma was waiting on the side of the road for help as his SUV had broken down. Officer Shelby Betty was the first to arrive on the scene. Crutcher was seen walking to his car with his hands in the air as officers followed closely behind. According to Betty’s attorney, the officer was afraid that Crutcher was reaching into his car to pull out a gun. It was at this moment that she opened fire even though Crutcher was unarmed the whole time.
    There are, of course, two problems that lie in this situation. One is that an unarmed man was brutally killed, and Crutcher’s tragic death re-emphasizes the systemic racism that is clearly very present in the U.S. The second, and even more shocking problem, is that though a man was killed, coverage of his unjust death was overshadowed by a divorce.
    Of course, the media will be in a frenzy over Brangelina’s divorce, but that does not mean that it should completely ignore an innocent man’s life. In what way is it okay to disregard an unfairly lost life due to a high profile divorce? Jolie and Pitt are entitled to their privacy as human beings, and Crutcher is entitled to justice as a human being as well.
    It astounds me that CNN of all news broadcasting stations would commit such a blunder. The divorce of two celebrities should not take precedence over the death of black man. In times of such harsh racism and injustice, the media should not be fueling the fire, but that is all it is doing by ignoring important cases like Crutcher’s.
    Jolie and Pitt’s divorce was a personal affair that can deal with on their own. Crutcher’s death was unjust, and it further illustrates the rising problem of system racism in the U.S. The media allows for citizens to foster their social and political ideals, but with this blatant disregard for the life of an innocent man, the media is showing the public that the loss of a man and the continued perpetuation of racism is not really as important as a high profile divorce. Such logic truly begs the question, where do the priorities of the media—and in turn, the public—lie?

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    The media's warped priorities are an outrage