When Global Associated News reported that Brad Pitt died in a snowboarding accident in Switzerland and then placed a small disclaimer at the bottom that the headline is merely for entertainment purposes, it is almost as if such a thing is fun to do. It was placed with the intention to shock and to earn from such a shocker and then invoke its role to provide entertainment to the public at the expense of a named celebrity. The practice itself doesn’t seem to be a shocker in any way judging from the long list of celebrities targetted by previous celebrity death hoaxes.
There were many other celebrities who have been victimized by similar death hoaxes such as Eddie Murphy, Paul McCartney, and Jeff Goldblum, just to name a few. Apparently, they are all still alive and kicking up to this day. But what is it that makes celebrities such fun targets for this kind of hoax? What else,but their popularity.
Any newspaper will sell like hotcakes when a big name in showbusiness is reported as dead in its front page. The natural reaction of the public is to find out how it happened, where it happened, and why it happened. Before they get to the truth that the death news is simply a hoax and has even been admitted as such, they would have already bought the newspaper.
What is most puzzling about this whole scenario is not that media will find extraordinary news about well-known personalities. It is how some sectors of media take pride in making use of a strategy to sell their ware using bad news about other people and faking it. Is this because a large part of the audience is gullible to whatever piece of information is thrown their way even if they are obviously erroneous? I’m sure the celebrities who have been cast off as dead for a day don’t enjoy such publicity.
Originally posted on July 31, 2012 @ 3:58 pm