Chris Brown, The Media and Public Opinion

I never thought that I would say this, but music superstars seem to have it kinda hard these days. What with the ability of fans to be able to connect with them so intimately now through technology and social media and already constantly being under the guise of the 24-hour TMZ news cycle, everything that they do seems to be scrutinized and and dissected to the Nth degree. Take Chris Brown: besides Kanye West, C.B. seems to be Urban entertainment’s poster boy for not be able to get a moment’s rest these days, ever since his domestic abuse debacle with one Rihanna, which now seems like it was a decade ago.

Don’t get me wrong, I can’t defend Breezy’s actions and I won’t attempt to. Being the youngest of three children with two older sisters and two nieces, I could NEVER condone putting my hands on a woman in a way that’s malicious or meant to do her harm. I don’t roll like that. But even with all of the messed up and at times just plain dumb things that Brown has done in the last few years, from Rihanna to trashing dressing rooms to the Frank Ocean spat to the war of words and fists (well, maybe not fists) with Drake in the club, he’s dug quite a hole for himself, and even reveled in the image of being the bad boy.

But the public eye can also be the eye of the storm for many a celebrity to deal with, and the latest incident involving Chris Brown has seemed to not only be blown out of proportion by music and entertainment media outlets, but also one where all of the facts haven’t come out. Then again, the facts aren’t always what matters when it comes to today’s media, especially when there’s a potential juicy story involving a major international music star. There are questions all around: who threw the first punch outside the hotel? Was it Brown or his bodyguard? Did he utter another slur against gay people? Has he or will he spend time in jail…again? Is he really going to rehab for anger management?

The whole point is this: it’s not really a matter of answering the questions truthfully. Instead, it’s a matter of presenting a certain version of what is deemed to be the truth to sway public opinion in a certain way. Like it or not, that’s the game. Personally, I think Brown does need to watch his actions, who he has around him and what those folks intentions are. But maybe the general population and the media itself need to start taking a closer look at the way stories and news items are presented, and if they are done in a way that actually IS fair and balanced, or if it’s all just about ratings, sweeps weeks and what the best story is, even if it’s not  one that’s accurate.

Check out a story on the SPIN.com website that gives the latest on Chris Brown’s most recent ups and downs.

One comment

  1. Gif the Griot (@iamthegif)

    There’s no break in today’s media. 24/7 media outlets are in a competition for eyeballs so everything about anything that has even remote interest becomes news at various levels. There are no one hit wonders today because of that fact. Once you have people interested in you everything you do becomes scrutinized and your act of living becomes a way to stay relevant depending on how you live. We also live in an entertainment world where people get their self esteem from how often they’re talked about in the media so who’s to say he doesn’t invite this in a masochistic type of way. America doesn’t take kindly to black males in general and media has an agenda in how it covers young black males portraying them in ways that perpetuate stereotypes. Chris Brown fits the narrative they want to promote like Flava Flav and the hyper violent criminal type rappers do so they’ll give him as much attention/rope they feel is sufficient.

    Every individual is a media outlet these days through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc., pop Stars more so than anybody. He has a degree of control over his public perception should he choose to use it. Buy a school new computers, give away a scholarship, there’s a number of things he can do. It’s a game and he’s like a player that keeps fouling and looking at the refs for blowing the whistle. Stop fouling nigga!

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