Guess what everyone? Michelle Obama wore shorts on a hot August day to the Grand Canyon. (pause for collective gasp which will never come.). No big deal right? I mean, if you're not wearing shorts on a day like that, I would think you were insane. Apparently to most major news outlets, it was a big deal. Looking at the front page of the Toronto Star on Friday, I saw this picture accompanied by a story about Michelle Obama wearing shorts, and the apparent scandal it caused.
My first question is, what scandal? Did anyone really care? All the news stories, which make this into their biggest news, appear to defend her from critics calling her outfit choice inappropriate. I think these critics must be invisible, because I have not seen one article or comment criticizing the outfit. All they seem to do is defend the outfit that no sane person would criticize. I think it's sad that this was front page news. Front page news should be at least a little more exciting than this. Most people realize that the first lady is a human being, and it would be ridiculous to expect her to wear a long dress or a pantsuit or something. I actually like that this first lady seems a bit more normal than the others I've experienced. I feel like a bit of a hypocrite devoting a blog entry to this unimportant event, but why something gets on the front page and other things don't is a question that has always fascinated me.
So why the hell is this news?
Well it does have the news value of prominence. The first lady of the United States has always been a prominent person, and none in recent history have been able to stand on her own, in addition to being very photogenic. Other than that, this has got nothing going for it. On a normal day I don't care what celebrities are wearing, and shorts are nothing outrageous. Articles suggest that it's because it's a slow news month. After reading the newspaper daily for a few months, I have noticed that less seems to happen in August than usual. I guess after a few years I might notice that very little newsworthy ever happens in August. At least last year there was an explosion which meant no one had to resort to stories about shorts.
I think it's kind of stupid to write a story about how you think a story isn't a story. For blogging, sure. But for a newspaper where one would assume you're reading the "news" that should be a big no no. Not only was it the biggest news of one day, it was the biggest news of several days. What's worse is that it's not that nothing else happened in those several days, it's just that perhaps editors thought Michelle Obama and her shorts were more important. If she had been wearing a pant suit or something, they would have said she was crazy to be wearing that in such heat. It's hot at the Grand Canyon, especially in August. Those shorts were modest, especially by today's standards. They couldn't be called short shorts by any means. I thought they were pretty classy. So whoever is deciding to put that in the paper, get over it already! please?
Hey, I'm wearing shorts today, maybe I can be on the front page of the Star!!