Paris Hilton should not be mentioned in this headline

No matter what Paris Hilton does, she always ends up in the news.

Even this very second she has graced the pages of the Oracle in my column. I grit my teeth in hypocrisy as I write this, because I’m writing to give my opinion on Hilton’s recent adventures through the pages and screens of news outlets everywhere.Is Paris Hilton really worth all the coverage she gets?

Recently, Hilton was incarcerated because of violating her parole. Apparently she did not know it was illegal for her drive with a suspended license. She was jailed, then reassigned to house arrest and then jailed again. According to an AP press release, Mary Tiedeman, a monitor for the American Civil Liberties Union, said Hilton currently – and controversially – resides in an area of the jail that is reserved for high-security inmates or very sick inmates. “I don’t know what her health issue is, but you have got to have a pretty intense medical or mental health problem to be in that part of the jail,” she said.

Another controversy to add to the mix is that Hilton’s mother, Kathy Hilton, was granted immunity from the waiting line to see inmates and skipped to the front to visit her daughter. Others in line were forced to wait four hours – double the usual time – to see their loved ones. In another AP release, Steve Whitmore, a sheriff’s spokesperson, said it was routine for high-profile inmates to receive visitors during lunch, a time when the visiting room is normally closed.

The prevalent media theme surrounding Hilton’s situation is that she should be punished just like everyone else and that she shouldn’t receive special treatment. I agree. It has been reported that she suffers from claustrophobia and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), and without proper medication she can become severely debilitated and suffer from panic attacks. I’m no doctor, but having experience with relatives who suffer from claustrophobia and ADD, I think Hilton and her posse of lawyers are exaggerating the truth to optimize her special treatment.

The point I’m trying to make is that I shouldn’t know any of this. The fact that Hilton has ADD and claustrophobia – relatively common conditions that affect millions of Americans daily – is just one of the many details about her life that neither my peers nor I have any need to know. How does it enrich my life to know that Hilton dated a former Backstreet Boy, has a dog named Tinkerbell and possesses a very limited vocabulary?

The answer is simple, it doesn’t.

As an aspiring journalist, I hope to keep the commitment I’ve made to news – that news should be newsworthy, that it should be important and vital to people’s lives. The war in Iraq, that’s vital. New vaccines, that’s vital. What’s happening in Washington, that’s vital. Paris Hilton’s life is completely tabloid – she offers nothing to the world despite her presence on magazine covers and headlines of newspapers. If Paris Hilton provided a noteworthy talent to the artistic world or perhaps played a more active role in charities or politics instead of spending all her time partying, maybe I wouldn’t have such a problem.

I’m not being a hater. I’m trying to be realistic. I’ll be the first to admit that many envy Hilton’s looks and attitude and that she must know how to work the public since she is always in its eye. Yet I stand by my view that she doesn’t deserve to be there.

Paris, please understand that this is not a direct attack toward you – it is instead a plea to the media to remove you from the spotlight.

You really don’t belong there.

Amy Mariani is a sophomore majoring in mass communications.