Friday, September 29, 2006

A Diamond in the Trash Pile

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Graphic by Linda Carrelli

Billboard Chart placement for A Thousand Different Ways:

Billboard 200 - #2

Billboard Comprehensive Albums - #2

Top Digital Albums - #3

Top Internet Albums - #1

Top Canadian Albums - #6

Not bad for someone out of the public eye for most of the year and has not released a mainstream album in almost three years, for someone who was "advised" to do a cover songs, for someone whose promotion did not start until the week of release, for someone without a radio single to support sales and for someone the DJ's and critics love to trash. Congratulations Clay. Your sales are a testament to your phenomenal vocal talent. People do love to hear you sing. Now if people could just leave your private life alone, I'd be totally happy. Let the focus be on the music where it belongs.

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Speaking of private life, Larry King tried to get the big scoop on the big "is he or isn't he question". Clay was very polite, much more so than I would have been, but Clay reiterated that it does not matter what he says, there is only one answer people want to hear. (The complete Larry King Live interview transcript can found here.) He can't give the answer that everyone is tuning in for so he's done talking. Good for you. Stand your ground Clay. When Clay Aiken is done with something, believe it because there is no man more stubborn man than he. Who else would wear an ugly perm for two years to torment his mother because she didn't like it. Who else would become a vegetarian for two years because he didn't like a meal his mom cooked. Yup, stubborn and sometimes foolish, but in this instance, Clay is right. People will think what they want about him, and I'm glad he stopped giving a rat's behind about it.

This Clay Aiken fandom has been a wake-up call to me. I never knew there were so many jerks (I want to say d*ckh**ds, but I'm too nice *g*)in the world. People who are content to tear down and trash another human being, to try to ruin his reputation. And for what. To be cool. Too be a famewhore. Too get hits to their blogs or websites. How about the media outlets like MSNBC who you would think practice responsible journalism. They are the first to happily pick up any rumor about Clay Aiken whether it has a legitimate source or not. They'll print half stories with the most unfavorable slant possible. It's been quite amazing to me with what they get away. I no longer watch their cable station or give any hits to their websites. With all the misinformation on Clay Aiken, I wouldn't trust any of their news.

It's not just MSNBC though I find them the worst offender, it's journalism in general. Sources are many times dubious. (Even outside the celebrity reporting genre, hardcore news vets like Dan Rather circumvent the truth.)Who can we trust? Anonymous tips on gossips site are often used, sites where anyone can make up anything. Facts are rarely checked, and all you need is one legitimate website like MSNBC to pick up the story and before you know it spreads like a bad rash all over the media. I have seen it time and time again. Truth can no longer be separated from fiction. Why does this happen? Is it the tabloidization of America which sells in the form of a newspaper or a webstie hit, in a time where people have less and less time for cold, hard factual news? Is it agenda-driven by the real people behind the keyboards? Is it laziness? I wish I knew why it happens. I tend to think it is a combination of factors, but the bottom line as long as American buys the trash, that is what we will get. Clay Aiken glitters in his squeaky clean goodness in the trash pile of celebrity sensationalism. Whoever had at the initial idea of melding of hard news and entertainment news should be shot (not literally, maybe just hit over the head).

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At 3:16 PM, Anonymous Angela said...

I agree with you wholeheartedly. Well before American Idol came to be, I became disgusted with the news we were being provided with. While I like to know what is going on in the world, I do not care to hear about celebrities' affairs, drug use, or anything else. I now record pretty much everything and just FF through. It's a shame that a person cannot tune into a newcast and believe what they hear let alone the info on celebs. Larry King advised Clay, from an older man's perspective, to just come out and say yes or no and be done with it, well he obviously did not realize that Clay already did that some time ago and he is still hounded like animal, so I am soooooo pleased that Clay has just said no more. Clay is correct, some people wanted to hear yes instead of no years ago, so they will not let it go.

At 3:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You hit it right on. Good for you. I agree 100% with you.

At 12:47 PM, Blogger rosie said...

I just love your blog,Vox. I agree that entertainment news stories should be checked-out before they're spread around but, in the real world, with every outlet trying to be first at any scoop, real or otherwise, it's become a sporting challenge for the media to see who can push Clay just over the edge. It's a sad time when a giving and caring person like Clay gets tormented by media bullies for no other reason than to make a buck. You are so right, Clay is a diamond in the trash pile. rosie

At 3:42 PM, Anonymous Canuck said...

It's a sad commentary on our time that has grown out of the internet and 24 hour news that sensationalism is what sells and truth is dispensible. Clay Aiken is the epitome of class and grace. It is sad that these qualities are what make him a target.

Great blog!

At 4:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great blog! I totally agree! Thank you!!!


At 4:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very well said, Vox!
Like you, I'm totally boycotting anything that comes from MSNBC.

What are they teaching in Journalism classes these days?
From what we've heard, if tabloid "reporters" can't find something bad they just make it up.

Your blog is spot on!
Clay was more mature and professional than some elder interviewers.

Thanks for the statistics on Clay's CD. I'm proud of the job he did and love to listen to the album!


At 11:53 AM, Blogger Jo said...

Excellent blog!!


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