Where sensationalism meets reality

Published 3:14 pm Thursday, December 10, 2009

Those in show business say there is a difference between celebrities and entertainers.

In fact, the variation of the two lies in the definition of the words themselves. A celebrity is often explained as a famous or well known person while an entertainer defined as a person who is known for their art, whether it be comedy, drama or music.

The bottom line distinction between the two: one is known for who they are and the other is known for what they do.

Entertainers, now day, seem to come few and far between. The age when an actor was known for their movies is yesteryear, while many legitimate actors work underground and in the independent genre.

The true art of acting has given way to a list of fame-mongering celebrities who rely on the culture of gossip, entertainment news, pandering public relation firms and paparazzi to promote themselves.

Perhaps the worst of all celebrities are reality stars—people who were relatively “normal” before America’s living and breathing obsession with voyeurism dug its nasty claws into them.

Exhibit A: the recent incident in Raleigh concerning Kate Gosselin. Yes, the one and only Kate Gosselin—mama of eight, Jon’s-ex, and occasional Outer Banks promoter (remember her trip out there without her husband, cue the paparazzi in full camouflage—sand and beach grass sticking out of everywhere!).

On Tuesday, Gosselin, along with her entourage which included a film crew, her infamous bodyguard, her crazy hair-do and sunglasses, was spotted in a Raleigh restaurant. Gosselin was not dining there, but rather, working as a waitress. Hey, even reality stars are taking a hit during these rough economic times. Of course one local news television station (though after this incident I’m questioning their legitimacy as an actual news agency) was all over the story and in their words “capturing her every move.”

The reporter sent to cover the story found out Gosselin was filming a test spot for a future program. However, probably the most shocking part of the story, the reporter was escorted out of the restaurant by the bodyguard. Holy TMZ!

The most unbelievable part of this whole melee is that this of all things made breaking news on email alerts. It’s nice to know that out of all the newsworthy items in a city such as Raleigh, a reality television star was top news.

The Gosselins’ personal drama or reality endeavors fly low on my radar screen. I really could care less if she was panhandling in downtown Raleigh or even on Main Street in Ahoskie.

What celebrities do in their free time certainly does not deserve a “breaking news” flag. In the meantime, the reporter should consider try out for a position on Entertainment Tonight or TMZ, she might have more success landing that interview.

Amanda VanDerBroek is a Staff Writer for the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald. For comments and column suggestions email: amanda.vanderbroek@r-cnews.com or call (252) 332-7209.