Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Traci Does The News

On an IMDB discussion of Crazy Eights, Traci Lords came up. Traci and I have a "special" relationship, though she's not aware of it. I had never heard of her before she was exposed as a minor. (Porn stars were not really part of the mainstream awareness back then. There really wasn't an analogue for, say, Jenna Jameson.) The local NBC affiliate screamed her name across five nightly newscasts.

Obviously the hot ticket for the week. At the end of some of the longest days of my life, this was what passed for news of the outside world. (I'll talk about my relationship with newspapers later.) Here was the thing about the Lords story:

Every night, they changed the number of movies she was in without comment or reference to previous nights. First it was "over 200", then "nearly 200", then "over 100"...I think they closed with "nearly 75".

A lot of other things said or implied made no sense, either. She controlled her own mega-media empire racking up millions upon millions of dollars. On the other hand, she was a victim of the exploitative porn industry.

But just the changing of a simple, basic fact over a period of five days as if the audience had no memory told me everything I needed to know about what the nightly news guys thought of their audience. Or of facts in general. I've never watched a nightly newscast since.

So, thanks, Traci!

It's sort of ironic that, to this day, I actually don't know what her story is. I tend to doubt seriously claims of a highly polished machine kidnapping kids off the streets of LA and forcing them at gunpoint to have sex on film. (Linda Lovelace's claims--er, the second set of claims she made, reversing the first set of claims--seem outright absurd.) I do not doubt there are many sleazy individuals working to take advantage of girls who are down on their luck in the first place, though.

She's got a book. Maybe I'll read it. I do owe her that much.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Grab an umbrella. Unleash hell. Your mileage may vary. Results not typical. If swelling continues past four hours, consult a physician.