5.28.2004

E!

i'm deviating from my most recent schedule of topics, but i would be remiss if i didn't say anything about E!'s chief executive stepping down in the midst of some funding impropriety.

according to the article, one of the charges leveled against mindy herman is that she misappropriated company funds to pay for a baby shower in her honor.

i guess it seems like a minor thing, since most likely, none of us have even heard of mindy herman, but in the pantheon of pop culture, i think that E! has emerged as one of the central information hubs, particularly in reinforcing the entertainment celebrity as royalty myth that we have going on here in these united states.

as barthes says, myths serve principally to reinforce some sort of existing ideology or power structure. as to which particular ideology or power structure that this particular mythology supports, i'm not really sure. i guess that some people would say it would be to reinforce mass media's underlying message of reinforcing capitalism, whiteness, or whatever. however, i find this a little problematic since much of E!'s programming revolves around deconstructing the myth of celebrity by showing how corrupt or in the case of anna nicole smith, how dumb celebrities can be. at the same time, i guess running insipid jules asner interviews of tom hanks or julia roberts makes them seem like nice folks. i guess that like most of popular culture, it serves contradictory roles.

in any case, the successor should be an interesting story to follow. but for me, as long as they find ways to get brooke burke on the air in her bathing suit, i really don't care.

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