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Question #41539 posted on 12/17/2007 3:01 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

Why are people with an interest in politics considered thoughtful intellectuals while people with an interest in Hollywood celebrities are considered stupid lemmings? Aren't both interests just different forms of people-watching?

- A People-Watcher (I'll let you guess which kind)

A: Dear People-Watcher-

Well, I would have to say that it's because politics can actually have a bearing on your life as a whole. Politicians create policy, which governs how you live your life. I think that's a tad more applicable than knowing who is dating who in Hollywood. The actor in an upcoming movie isn't voting on a bill that will turn that national park near your house into a subdivision, you know?

That being said, I think the media obsession over every niggling detail of politician's lives and interactions is just a way for networks to play off of the drama-addicted American culture. In that sense, the two are probably about the same, just that they play off of the "intellectual" angle to make it seem more acceptable to those people who would watch politics anyway. That, or the media is trying to widen the appeal of their sphere (usually politics) to those who normally wouldn't watch (people who just want conflict/entertainment) to up the ratings.

So, in brief: the problem doesn't come from following politics, it comes from being too obsessed over politicians.

That's how I see it, at least.