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Global Media Predictably (and Pathetically) Stake Out Royal-Baby Birth

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by Jon Friedman
July 22, 2013 10:15 AM
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I know I'm in the minority is saying this: I don't give a hoot about the fate of the royal baby, other than to wish the mother a safe delivery and to hope that he baby has a happy life.

That's what I'd want for any family. And that's my point. It should not be a momentous event because there are more important subjects to ponder beyond a ceremonial baby birth. I don't mean to sound like a cynic or a killjoy. The media smell big ratings, high circulation numbers and increased page views. So, it is a big business for them. That is their major interest here, in covering a high-profile non-news story.

But, of course, it is a big deal. The global media have gone bonkers, staking out the hospital and trying to uncover every morsel of gossip. Well, it HAS BEEN nine days since the George Zimmerman verdict was announced, and the journalists need a fresh story to report.

On Monday morning, Kate Middleton went into labor. The duchess entered the private Lindo wing of St. Mary's Hospital at around 6:00 a.m. It is the same place where Princess Diana gave birth to Prince William and Price Harry. The Huffington Post pointed out: The palace released an official statement on the latest development:

Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge has been admitted this morning to St. Mary's Hospital, Paddington, London in the early stages of labour. The Duchess traveled by car from Kensington Palace to the Lindo Wing at St. Mary's Hospital with The Duke of Cambridge.

The global media has been standing outside St. Mary's hospital for weeks in anticipation of the momentous event of the royal baby. In a neat bit of irony, bizarrely, the media spectacle outside St. Mary's Hospital had become a tourist destination. Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/22/royal-baby-media-coverage-news-networks-kate-middleton-labo...

The Associated Press said reporters filed updates in a dozen languages outside the Lindo Wing. Amateurs photographed the plain, 5-story brick building, its front door flanked by four police officers, and snapped the scurrying, coffee-swilling photographers and journalists.

Sorry, all os this is lost on me. I don't naturally dislike silly media spectacles. I watch the ball drop every year on TV at Times Square. I watch the buildup to the presidential debates, as if two heavyweight championship fighters were entering a ring. I even watched the introductions during the baseball All-Star Game last week to listen for the cheers for hometown heroes Matt Harvey and David Wright.

But the royal baby? Media organizations are spending so much money on this! Of course, it is news because so many royal-philes have a need to know everything. And yes, the birth of a royal baby is undeniably historic.

Then there is the matter of privacy (yeah, right) that even the headline-happy royals deserve.

As a friend of mine posted on Facebook: "Other than to wish the mother and the child well, which I would do for any woman and baby, I feel it is not=ne of my business."

OK, I hope everyone enjoys the pomp and circumstance of the birth of the royal baby. It will be an exciting news event -- until the next BIg One comes along and we forget all about the kid.

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