posts about or somewhat related to ‘celebrity’
Over at Slate, Josh Levin tries to suss out how and why the Sports Illustrated’s and ESPN’s of the world bought into the hoax that Manti Te’o had a girlfriend who died of leukemia at the beginning of the 2012 college football season.
Confirmation bias plays a role, he writes. This is the notion that people are prone to believe that which reinforces what they already believe, whether true or not. In this case, a national, fact-checked (most of the time?) magazine — Sports Illustrated — published a glowing feature on Te’o, complete with his religious, Boy Scout upbringing and personal triumph over tragedy. As his on field reputation grew, future reporters referenced biographical features found in the original SI feature without much thought.
Which leads Levin to explore the basic hagiography we use to report on celebrities. We apply well-worn, paint by numbers, templates — in this case, the heroic athlete overcoming adversity — that do both subjects and readers a disservice.
No matter what we learn about Te’o in the coming days, this black-and-white narrative—good man fixes bad things—enlightens no one and does the athlete no favors…
…Sports Illustrated looked at the linebacker and saw a classic template, not a human being who demanded the scantest thought or scrutiny. In the end, they got back the exact amount of effort they put in. This was journalism as fill-in-the-blank exercise, the creation of a simple story that tells you what you already know. In this case, what we already knew happened not to be the truth. If only Manti Te’o hadn’t been such a boy scout. Then we might have known how interesting he was all along.
Josh Levin, Slate. The Fake Girlfriend Experience.
The Wall Street Journal estimates that Lady Gaga’s Twitter account is worth $30 million.
The math is kind of fuzzy but they arrive at the number by saying that her ability to connect with, promote to and otherwise engage with her 20 plus million followers is worth about a third of the estimated $90 million that she earned over the past year.
Twitter’s a cash cow for other celebrities as well:
Reality stars fit right in with Twitter’s instant-fame ethos. The highest celebrity endorsers can earn up to $20,000 for a single tweet, but some companies have offered $100,000 to sponsor a celebrity’s Twitter account, according to Jennifer P. Brown, of social media agent SponsoredTweets. Brown recently received one such offer, but declined as she says the brand in question wasn’t a right fit for the celebrity. She wouldn’t name the brand or celebrity. Reality star Khloe Kardashian’s tweets to her 6.4 million followers are worth $9,100 each, Brown says.
For those curious, the FJP earns approximately zero dollars for our posts but find Twitter invaluable.
— Cord Jefferson, Good. We Were Offered 10 Minutes with Bono—Why We Didn’t Care.
If TMZ focused on any other category but celebrity gossip, I imagine its leader Harvey Levin would be an even bigger emblem of digital brand building than Arianna Huffington. This is one of the most amazing trajectories I have seen in the perennial (usually elusive) pursuit of digital germination of cross-media success. TMZ has a massively popular Web site, some superb mobile apps, a Sirius radio show, a nightly TV program and daily live video chats hosted by Levin and his cohort Charles. It started only six years ago and arguably is the best instance of a brand built on digital that migrated across platforms and developed a unique style that could only have come out of the last ten years of online culture and social media evolution.
Slammed for obsessive coverage and paying sources, TMZ may be shameless in its pursuit of all things sleazy, but it is a remarkable example of a fully conversational, real-time, video-powered news operation that works seamlessly across platforms. Watching a few episodes of the TMZ Live chat feed it is clear that the dynamic here is unique and former silos of TV, Web, audio, etc. are dissolved very effectively.
- Steve Smith via Mediapost