Once we had the Zapruder film. Now it’s Solange attacking Jay-Z.

When Abraham Zapruder pointed his newly-purchased home movie camera at the presidential motorcade in Dallas on November 22, 1963 he captured history.  But the soundless frames of JFK’s assassination did not run on American television for a dozen years.  Since then many more historically horrific moments have appeared on our screens.  The Space Shuttle Challenger exploding against a blue sky, the second plane hitting the south tower of the WTC.  And the beating of Rodney King by L.A. police officers which like the Zapruder film was taken by a private citizen. Last year “citizen journalists” at the Boston Marathon shot video as smoke from the terrorists’ bombs began filling the air.

Seeing is believing and so to have video proof of an event is a valuable tool for the news industry. But just because the video exists should it be aired?  The answer seems to be, if it catches celebrities behaving badly, yes. Most definitely.  And so we get to look into the elevator as Solange — who if you didn’t know as I didn’t know until the other day — is Beyonce’s sister, lays a beating on Jay-Z — who even I knew is Beyonce’s husband.

Doesn’t anyone have a last name any more?  Is Z considered a last name?

Anyway, there’s Solange swinging and kicking at Jay-Z and bashing him with her purse inside the elevator. And of course, TMZ got the elevator surveillance video because that’s what TMZ does.

And then like dominos the rest of the national and local media outlets grabbed it and played it and played it like it had the same historical significance as Zapruder‘s work.  But if that was as far as it went, video of two famous or semi-famous folks scuffling in an elevator I wouldn’t be so perplexed about it.

But news reporters were sent out onto the street to ask regular people to comment on the scuffle. I mean, I do MOS all the time, but I’m not sure what the responses added to the story. “Oh, I think Jay-Z kept his cool.”  “You know, Beyonce should have stepped in.” “Maybe, this is more about Solange and Beyonce.”  Some news programs even had psychologists on to analyze the bad behavior.

Now, here’s the problem with my view.  My immediate reaction was, “Who cares?”  That is a legitimate question when deciding what stories to cover and which ones to ignore on any given day.  I did not care…but plenty of people did.

So maybe it’s time for me to get off the elevator?  But for now I think I’ll just take the stairs.

John Montone

Be well.


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