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News & Opinion

L ast week, while preparing Weekly Wire's news stories, I was surprised to find that only two columnists had bothered to write about Diana Spencer's death. To be honest, I was relieved: "Only two Diana editorials -- whew, I got off easy." Or so I thought, until I took a gander at this week's news section and found eight -- eight! -- Diana articles. I shoulda known.

P lenty of diversity and contradiction among these opinions. Here's the rundown:

(1) Captain Opinion doesn't hold back. He couldn't care less about Diana, a "thirtysomething bimbo" who has never had to work for a living and doesn't deserve the public's attention. At least the paparazzi have jobs, he says. He blames the driver for the crash and the public for creating the paparazzi by not having their priorities straight.

(2) In the "Where were you when you found out Diana died?" department, Margaret Moser relates how she heard about the death and the immediate impact it had on her feelings. I'm not one to use the word "poignant" without due cause, but it definitely applies to this column.

(3) The paparazzi is the evolutionary result of a long-term trend towards shallow, soundbite-based reporting that values sensation over research, ratings over facts. Author Ann Mulhearn laments the way tabloid journalism has tainted the mainstream press, never once acknowledging the slapdash nature of journalism in the early part of this century.

(4) According to Tom Danehy, because celebrities and paparazzi exist in a symbiotic relationship, it's hypocritical for stars such as Tom Cruise to speak out against the photographers. Also: Diana's mistake was ever getting involved with "scum" like the Royal Family or Dodi in the first place; the thought of grocery stores acting as censors by refusing to carry tabloids with the as-yet-unreleased Di photos is "chilling"; and, in their defense, the journalism in some tabloids isn't bad.

(5) Marcos Martinez waxes metaphysical in this meditation about how the without-you-I'm-nothing dynamics of fame and the media relate to the Diana spectacle.

(6) Bruce VanWyngarden's column is the worst offender in the "criticizing the media without admitting your place in it" category. VanWyndgarden provides a detailed recap of the media-saturated week after the crash, concluding that "It was a bit much." He then mourns for all the people who had the bad timing to die during that period, since they lost out on the attention they deserved.

(7) One more in the "Where were you when you found out?" category. The author, Jeff Smith, comes down on the Royal Family and Dodi, then -- in a novel twist -- moves on to other subjects. These include the Phoenix, Arizona bounty hunters/robbers who murdered a young couple in their home, and the conviction and resignation of Arizona governor Fife Symington.

(8) Here's a quickie editorial against grocery store managers who refuse to carry tabloids containing the post-crash, pre-body-removal photos. After stuffing that crap down our throats in checkout counters for years, where did they get this sudden burst of morality?

I f you're still unfulfilled, you can always read last week's Diana-based editorials. One defends the paparazzi, the other calls for the release of the dreaded crash photos. Or you could avoid the whole mess and read this review of an anti-affirmative-action book called Liberal Racism, learn why Apple is eating other people's "cores," or check out our highly entertaining Odds & Ends and Mr. Smarty Pants columns.

Volume I, Issue 15
September 15 - September 22, 1997

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Diana Hype Overload
The Alibi's resident foot-in-mouth columnist. [2]
Cap'n O

TV Eye
Goodbye, Diana. [3]
Margaret Moser

Getting What We Deserve
What to know who's responsible for the paparazzi? Look in the mirror. [4]
Ann Mulhearn

Fame And Blame
The British Royal Family is the product of centuries of dangerous in-breeding, a bunch of dolts living a life that should have been laughed out of existence 400 years ago...and other thoughts on the death of Diana. [5]
Tom Danehy

Damn you, Paparazzo!
Our staff writers sound off. [6]
Marcos Martinez

The Royal Mini-Series
Coverage of Princess Diana's death was media overkill. [7]
Bruce VanWyngarden

On Death
The deaths of Chris Foote and Spring Wright in Phoenix at the hands of ill-trained bounty hunters point up some common misconceptions about these armed private cops and the law in general. [8]
Jeff Smith

Thin Line
Media criticism from our esteemed publisher. [9]
Christopher Johnson

Against the Bias
Liberal racism at play in Nashville. [10]
Liz Murray Garrigan

Power Down
All the lowdown on high-tech. [11]
David O. Dabney

Odds & Ends
Timed-release news capsules from the flipside. [12]
Devin D. O'Leary

Mr. Smarty Pants
Our resident know-it-all unearths the latest trivia. [13]
R.U. Steinberg

Now What?
Can't get enough news? You're in luck -- more news is created every day. Our Now What? page offers a plethora of recommended links to help keep you living in the present. [14]

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Talk Back
Our online BBS is an open forum where you can say anything you like about current events, controversies, or anything else that might be stuck in your craw.


From The Vaults

Brave New World
Ticketmaster and Microsoft squabble about the right to link. [06-20-97]
David O. Dabney

Pub. Crawl
Elvis fans may be hurting on this 20th anniversary, but publishers aren't. [08-11-97]
Leonard Gill

Odds & Ends
Around the news in seven days. [07-21-97]
Devin D. O'Leary




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