Call girl scandal given unnecessary attention

There have been many events in the past couple of years that have greatly impacted our culture and made us question who we are as Americans.

Some people might be thinking of the Iraq war, Sept. 11 or Hurricane Katrina. Although these events highlight some of America’s lowest points, they brought hope and camaraderie to our culture’s forefront.

However, for the younger generation, when they think of crucial events in history they are probably thinking of Anna Nicole Smith’s death, reality TV shows, or the newest scandal that rocked the political world, Ashley Dupre.

TV, newspapers and online sites are consumed with Dupre’s face, or an article about her. A young woman who has publicly degraded herself is not shunned by the media, but hounded after and thrust into the spotlight for everyone to see. It amazes me that our culture is infatuated with Dupre and is yearning to find out any information about her.

Dupre is best known as the call girl in former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s prostitution scandal. Days after the scandal became known, media outlets were clamoring to know who Dupre was.

To many people’s disgust, her face was plastered on the front page of every newspaper in America, along with her life story.

The fact that her name has become a staple of the current American culture is appalling. Magazines want to interview her and even Donald Trump wants to put her in a new reality TV show. Consequences for her action seem like they are a thing of the past, and bad behavior is shamelessly rewarded.

Dupre’s 15 minutes of fame is slowly turning into a money-making publicity campaign that makes me wonder where our culture is heading.

I am ashamed to live in a society where a sex scandal is more important than the news of soldiers fighting and dying in Iraq and where a call girl can be an instant celebrity.

The media has the power to influence our beliefs, and unfortunately, the media don’t always choose the high road.

Although I too am contributing to the bombardment of articles surrounding the life and actions of Ashley Dupre, I hope my opinion can influence an individual to open his or her eyes. The media need to learn to balance the facts and decide whether Ashley Dupre is a spectacle or news.

Using her name may help sell newspapers and magazines, however, the real question is whether the media are using their power to better society or abusing the power for attention and wealth. If our culture can break free from the hold of the media and ignore the degradation that currently befalls us, we will have the ability to shape our future for the better.

Breanna Kelly is a freshman advertising/public relations major from Kingwood.