Burriss: Is what celebrities say important?

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Turn on almost any news program, or news web site and you'll find actors, sports figures and people who are famous for just being famous talking about politics, religion, science, the economy or almost any other hot top of the day.

And you will immediately see a negative reaction: why should this or that person talk about this or that issue. What gives them the right to speak out? But the issue isn't these people speaking out. The real issue is the coverage they are given.

Actors and sports figures, just to use two examples, are citizens just like everyone else. They have the right to say what they want about anything they want.

But just like everyone else, they are almost never experts on economics, science or history. So what they have to say really has no value.

What I also hear is by lending their name they are increasing awareness of this disease, that social issue, this or that cause. But I wonder if the purpose isn't to bring attention to the cause, but to bring attention to themselves!

Which is why I wonder why they are given coverage in the first place? Why is it news when a person with absolutely no training starts talking about something they know absolutely nothing about?

Now I'm not talking here about commercials and promotions featuring famous people. We see dozens of stars promoting dozens of foundations. If they want to lend their names to a cause, so be it.

What I'm talking about is news coverage. Why are these comments considered news? The answer quite simply is someone else, whose value I have to question, thinks it is news.

Just because someone famous says something does not mean what they say is newsworthy. Certainly anyone is free to talk about anything they want. But is it news? Certainly not!

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