Two “media” announcements today. One has significance because of its cultural impact and the other — well the other is just more noise.

Jon and Kate

Jon and Kate plus 8 has halted production because of the announcement of their pending divorce. I guess no one cared that exposing the eight children to constant media scrutiny was a form of child abuse. When are we going to learn that eavesdropping is not entertainment. It is exploitive voyeurism.

No doubt the show had its biggest audience ever as those starved for a real life tuned in to see the demise of someone else’s last week. This was not Ozzie and Harriett, filled with semi-real characters (who used their real names and played themselves) and character actors who played neighbors and other genial foils to the day-to-day comedy of the Nelson family. It was a classic. Jon and Kate plus Eight is no classic. It was a symptom of an audience that cannot distinguish between bad and great.

mcmahon

Which brings me to a bonafide classic that we lost — Ed McMahan. His death at age 86 is the loss of not just of an individual but also the loss of an era. He deserves to be mourned for our loss of his sense of humor and ability to point the spotlight on others without ever getting into the way. No doubt he would say in his rough baritone voice, “You are correct, sir.”