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Just What IS News???

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

This is how I handled the MJ issue and how I feel about how Farrah Fawcett being yesterday's non-news story. I just emailed this Letter to the Editor of our Local Newspaper. I hopethey print it for one, and I also hope that it gives some attention to Farrah, the woman, and Farrah the woman who lost her battle with cancer. This is all just opinions and I'm sure I'll piss off many people in my town, but THIS is what they should be concerned about (IMO), not someone who made decisions that ruined his life.

Entertainment trumps Reality:
While it is rarely good news that someone passes away nor is the timing ever good either, the timing of Michael Jackson's passing was very bad in my opinion. Farrah Fawcett died the same day from a form of colorectal cancer that will affect many more of us than super stardom will and she winds up as a footnote on the news on that day. I have not heard a thing about her since. The world is obsessed with Michael Jackson. It appears he self-destructed like so many famous people have done. Too bad but it was his choices that caused it. Farrah got the bad luck of getting cancer.

While he was a big influence on pop culture for a generation, his other life, which I cannot call normal, was marred by allegations of child abuse, financial problems, and an apparent identity crisis judging by how he wanted to look like Diana Ross (except a while version).

More people will be affected by colorectal cancer than will be affected by becoming a Pop Star and self-destructing, yet the media insists on raising this person to almost sainthood and I do not see an end in sight.

Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States when men and women are considered separately, and the second leading cause when both sexes are combined. It is expected to cause about 49,920 deaths (25,240 in men and 24,680 in women) during 2009. More research on cancer needs to be done but it is overshadowed by this. It’s sad, many more of us will have to deal with cancer that with superstardom and self-destruction.

I felt that this was a great opportunity for more people to gain awareness of this horrible disease and possibly have more research done but instead all we hear is how great MJ was. Farrah was twice the woman Michael would ever have become.
-phil

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

And you know what's the worst Phil - it's not even over yet. The immediate hype might begin to flame out shortly, but with all of the digging, the Will and Estate, and custody of the kids, we're going to hear, rather there will be alot of coverage ongoing for awhile.

I feel bad for Farrah and her family; she just lost her battle on the wrong day became yesterday's news instantly and it has upset many in the cancer community. It took the attention of a major disease and shelved it in favor of someone else.

Good for you on sending your comments to the editor. At least you tried.

At least with Farrah's funeral tomorrow on Tuesday, she will get a bit more air time and maybe people will pay her some attention.

And hopefully both funerals will be separate.

tiny one
Posts: 467
Joined: Jan 2009

I truly believe that because of Farrah Fawcett's fight with the Cancer beast that people will be getting screened in record numbers. Her public fight is not in vain. I am a 2 year survivor of stage 3 colon cancer, her death saddens me and leaves me with the knowing that the beast can come back. But I also don't want to waste the precious time that I have being Cancer free on worrying excessively. I hope that my fight with colon cancer with spare someone from this beast if they have early screening. If they are fighting cancer I'm here to give my love and support to them.

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

I remember that when Katie Couric had "hers" done on TV, it gained attention. I just have a feeling that other than us, who are in the loop, care. Most of the world cold care less unless it affects THEM and the funny part is, this CAN affect them and they will have their heads up their a$$es instead. With any luck, they may spot something.

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

I'm getting more annoyed with this whole thing. They guy knew how to grab headlines (along with his crotch) but so much hype over this is sickening. I wonder if all pedophiles get this attention. This just blows my mind and it just blows too

2bhealed's picture
2bhealed
Posts: 2085
Joined: Dec 2001

I have to say that I don't think any celebrity with any kind of disease has caught my attention to do something about my own health. Sad as that may be, it's the truth. I mean, if our own families resist getting colonoscopies while they hold our hands throughout our ordeals, how does someone who has a bit of fame influence us to go get scopes up our hinders. If our own doctors aren't even telling us to get scoped while our sisters are dying of intestinal cancer how do we expect to get the message just because a poster babe had anal cancer? You know what I mean? When Sheryl Crow got breast cancer I surely didn't run out and get a mammogram.

WE have to be our OWN voice and create the bruhaha to bring attention to our plight. WE have to commit to the cause if WE want the change that WE are demanding.

Find your cause and commit. Find your voice and speak out. Good for you Phil that you spoke up.

Why are we surprised that the media has manipulated us once again and turned our attention to the circus coming to town.

peace, emily

krystle singer's picture
krystle singer
Posts: 109
Joined: Feb 2009

I'm, i suspect, a lot older than a good many of the good folk on this message board so I was never a MJ fan. Yep, I watched 'Charlie's Angels' back in the day. I admit being more affected by Farrah's trials and fight than Mr. Jackson's. Yes, he was the subject of a great deal of child abuse and fame-too-soon, but I just cannot mourn him the way a lot of people are. Right now I am focused on my own fight with the cancer monster and am more interested in that fight and the battle of all the people on this message board.
Currently I am reading a book...CRAZY SEXY CANCER by Kris Carr. I rather imagine it has been read by some or many of you ladies and gents; if not it is uplifting and gives a lot of nutritional advise(just like you, Miss Emily).

Good reminder post, Emily, thanx.

Sandi (Krystle singer)

2bhealed's picture
2bhealed
Posts: 2085
Joined: Dec 2001

I took it on vacation with me and laughed my hinder off sitting at the lake.

Her blog is just as fun.

peace, emily

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

I thought about that, Emily and it is a point well taken.

My family, friends and co-workers have not gone to get any screenings at all, even after watching me and what I've been through from the start to today.

I've talked to them and written to them and used myself as an example, but alas, it falls on deaf ears. They have watched from afar and so far it has made little difference to any of them when I look back on it these past 5 years or so. Hmmm...

I guess nobody gets involved until it affects them personally and then the awareness begins. The light bulb clicks on then.

-Craig

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

I hear you Emily, My experience with family and friends was different than many others was it seems. I easily had a dozen people get scoped after I was diagnosed. Probably more. I don't get how people do not heed the warning but then again, I don't understand a lot of how the majority of people think.

I agree that a celebrity will probably not influence people when it comes to health issues like Oprah can with a book recommendation. That alone says something is seriously wrong with how the media decides what is news. I will say this, when Sheryl Crow came out with her breast cancer news, I was looking at every breast I could. I do think it may have had some positive influence to the fight though. Nothing that MJ contributed other than music, was helpful to people. From holding his kids over a balcony, to having sleepovers with young boys, to distorting his face until he looked like a freak. But America LOVES the Jerry Springer mentality.

Thank God for movie channels and the History channel.

2bhealed's picture
2bhealed
Posts: 2085
Joined: Dec 2001

Does that mean when Farrah came out with her anal cancer were you scoping on nice tushes too?

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

I believe in trying to prevent this type of things happening so I'm always on the lookout.
I may be married.
I may have cancer.
But I'm not blind nor am I dead...yet (unless my wife sees this page ;-)

lisa42's picture
lisa42
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008

Phil,

You're right that it will probably make some people in your town mad, but I totally agree with you. While I enjoyed all of Michael Jackson's songs- I was in high school in the 80's when so many of his songs were big- it does sicken me to the extent of which people seem to almost worship the ground he walked on. Obviously no one can time when they die, but it's definitely a shame that so much of Farrah's "day" was taken over by MJ. It will be interesting to see what coverage her funeral gets, which is scheduled for tomorrow (Tuesday).

Fight on!
Lisa

dixchi's picture
dixchi
Posts: 438
Joined: Jun 2008

"Hollywood types" have mucho psych problems including narscissim
whether they are Farah Fawcett or MJ....if they weren't full blown
when they started, they are at the end.....so I question how much
influence they have as well....it is just good fodder for the 24
hour cable news which is hard pressed at times to fill the minutes.
We ourselves and our caregivers are better promoters day to day.

Barbara

donnare
Posts: 266
Joined: Jun 2009

I am with you on this one Phil - I've heard enough about MJ now. I am not minimizing his talent - it was there in spades, and for his loved ones, I'm sure it is a terrible loss as any death is. But he was obviously a very troubled soul that needed help early on, and shouldn't have had the access he had to young, impressionable, innocent, and often ill or troubled children. I have never understood how his family and friends - who are all praising him now - allowed him to spiral so out of control.

On the day they both died my daughter said ".. poor Farrah Fawcet will be forgotten about ..". I guess it is because Farrah's death was expected and MJ's was a shock, but enough already.

ldot123's picture
ldot123
Posts: 276
Joined: Apr 2008

Hi Phil,

Nicely written and I hope it gets published. Thanks for taking the time to get your point across.

Cheers, Lance

Paula G.'s picture
Paula G.
Posts: 596
Joined: Apr 2009

I agree with you Phil. It's the MEDIA!!!
My huband has crc not me.I have MS and I do know that when the Stars with MS come out and let the public know that they have MS it sparks peoples attention to MS and they tend to give more money for research and ask more questions and it does help in that way. Annette F.,Michael L. (Squiggy)on Lavern and Shirly, Terri Garr, Montel, Clay Walker and some others have come forth and done a bunch of fund raising and called attention to MS. Is it enough..NO! Katie Couric did spark people to go get screened. Not everyone.
I know that my husband (JR) has got the attention of many people we know to go and get screened. My own brother who never would have gone in got screened. His sister's he is still working on. Several people he works with have gone in. So in this way it does help.

I wish Farrah would have got more attention. It did bother me. The world was shocked with MJ's death. I wish some how they could have done equal stories on them both but that is the media for ya...Oh and I fogot Richard Prior. There were people who thought he had it coming because of his lifestyle. I don't agree..Just my thoughts Paula G.

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

I just got an email from the editor of the local paper. He said:
Phil -
Best letter I've read in some time. I'll look to include it in this week's paper.
Thanks.
Bob Quinn

Usually I write about there being no signs in town that tell you when you have to feed the meter or the one time we saw what looked like a rabid skunk walking in circles during the day. My wife called the town who gave her a number of an guy who would remove it for a fee.
I was PISSED about that one.
-p

Paula G.'s picture
Paula G.
Posts: 596
Joined: Apr 2009

I am so glad the the editor of your paper got back with you.It was a great letter and I am glad they will include it in this week's paper.
The skunk thing would have pissed me off too. P.G.

kmygil
Posts: 881
Joined: Feb 2007

Love the letter. Love the answer from the editor. Really displeased about the rabid skunk.

Hugs,
Kirsten

2bhealed's picture
2bhealed
Posts: 2085
Joined: Dec 2001

Are you the cranky constipated guy in town who is always writing letters to the editor? HA! Keep us posted when it gets in.

The rabid skunk issue just stinks.

(sorry, I honestly couldn't resist)

peace, emily

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

I'm the Mr. Wilson from Dennis the Menace.

No, I'm not the cranky guy. I just get pissed when the town puts signs where no one can read them so they can write more traffic/parking tickets. Dirty pool in my book. And the "self-service rabid animal control program" pissed me off too. It did stink, it stinks on ice as they say.

OK...you got me But I'm not constipated!!!!
-p

punch_vj's picture
punch_vj
Posts: 88
Joined: May 2009

Excellent!

Kickin' "butt" and taking names!

Tonia11
Posts: 57
Joined: Jan 2009

It was unfortunate that Farrah Fawcett died on the same day as Michael Jackson. But that is no reason to de-value his life. Neither one of them deserved to die. None of us knew the demons the Michael Jackson dealt with. He was truly a tortured soul. Folks are quick to say the media is giving him too much attention but the same folks believed the media when they called him a pedophile. Make up your mind, either you like the media or you don't. I'm not calling the man a saint but geez he did change pop culture as we know it the same way Elvis did.

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4912
Joined: May 2005

I do not think I devalued his life at all. I'm sorry if you took it that way.

He also went out like Elvis did too. It's a shame.
Hundreds of thousands will die of cancer this year alone. That's a shame too.

tootsie1's picture
tootsie1
Posts: 5063
Joined: Feb 2008

Well said! That's an awesome letter. I am UP TO HERE with all the coverage of that person's death. And it will go on endlessly like Elvis, etc.

Thank you for stating the case so well, Phil.

*hugs*
Gail

Kathleen808's picture
Kathleen808
Posts: 2361
Joined: Jan 2009

Hi Phil,
Great letter. Like your situation, a least 2 dozen people have had their colonoscopies since Dick's diagnosis in January. I hope that the stations will show Farrah's story again although the ending is so very sad.
Take care all.
Aloha,
Kathleen

ron50's picture
ron50
Posts: 1729
Joined: Nov 2001

No comment on the subject ,just another sad loss. Dr Jerrie Nielson-fitzgerald the lady that was stuck at the antarctic base and had to biopsy and treat herself for breast cancer in 1999 has died at age 57. The weather was too bad for several months to get her out so she gave herself chemo,brave lady. Very sad,Ron.

Annabelle41415's picture
Annabelle41415
Posts: 6692
Joined: Feb 2009

What a wonderful article and I'm so glad that they got back to you already. I hope you get a lot of response from your readers with positive comments (I assume it is going in an opinion part of your paper). We have to spread the cause in any way we can. Thanks!

Kim

Bria C's picture
Bria C
Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 2009

Cancer can be same as what Michael Jackson had. He had lupus, it is an autoimmune disease in which the cells of the body stop recognizing each other and attack themselves, and the condition is potentially lethal without treatment. On the other hand, those who spent money on the upcoming London concerts will no miss the chance to see Thriller live, along with missing the man who made it possible. Michael Jackson will be sorely missed, but perhaps the one thing that he is known for to so many people is his album Thriller. Thriller was recorded in 1982, and what Jackson had in mind was an album in which every song was a hit – and he succeeded. It has sold over 50 million copies, and estimates for actual sales are over 100 million, which makes it the most successful album of all time. On top of legendary songs, guest artists on the record include Paul McCartney and Eddie Van Halen.

Hatshepsut's picture
Hatshepsut
Posts: 340
Joined: Nov 2006

Good letter, Phil--strong and well-written.

Congratulations on getting it accepted for publication. I hope you have some good responses to the letter.

I don't feel quite as negative about the media, though. (Maybe it is because my husband is a retired journalism professor!) I think there are responsible newspapers/broadcast news outlets, etc. and there are irresponsible ones. As a nation of (mostly) educated people, we have a personal obligation to recognize the former and reject the latter. (For example, our family chooses to subscribe to The Los Angeles Times and The New York Times instead of the Enquirer. We watch the Lehrer News Hour instead of the news readers on our local TV network outlet. And, even with those choices, we try to exercise a healthy bit of skepticism when it is warranted.)

I also think that we, as a nation, have become lazy and allowed ourselves to believe that we have to be entertained by everything we do. It is a kind of "bread and circuses" mind-set that distracts rather than enlightens us. Work should be fun. School should be fun. The "news" should be sensational and celebrity-heavy. And, on and on. Good hard work and the honing of our reasoning skills has gotten a "bum rap."

My two cents...

Hatshepsut

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