At first we thought Reuters and CNN.com were making a confession of sorts with their report today (it’s a Reuters original which CNN.com picks up) referring to the “crazed media” having “reached the point of insanity.”


But upon closer inspection, it becomes clear that when Reuters and CNN.com refer to the “media” they are not actually including themselves — the “world’s largest international multimedia news agency” and “among the world’s leaders in online news,” respectively — in that description. (See: Press; self-awareness problems).


So what has triggered the media’s (minus Reuters’ and CNN.com’s) madness?


Brangelina, of course.


Yes, Reuters’ Jill Serjeant writes in a story that can’t be news to anyone, “the media” (but again, certainly neither Reuters nor CNN.com) is mad about Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt and simply can’t control its urge to cover the couple’s every move. Serjeant explains how one might pick up contradictory tidbits about the duo’s personal life “depending on which TV show you listen to or which celebrity magazine or gossip column you read” (or which “international multimedia news agency” you read, we’d add).


Reuters even appears to scold its gossip-mongering peers with its choice of sub-head mid-story — “Leave Them Alone,” which reflects the feelings of Pitt’s publicist who is quoted in the piece. Readers learn that the couple has “remained tight-lipped” about whether or not they will marry, “merely fueling the speculation” (by “the media,” presumably). And although Serjeant doesn’t count herself among “the media” in question, it seems she can’t help but do a little “fueling” herself, reporting that Pitt’s publicist denied rumors of an imminent wedding but also said “cryptically, ‘They are not getting married. I don’t want a story about they’re not getting married. I think you guys should just drop the whole thing.’”


“Some hope,” writes Serjeant, noting that “even Time magazine has acknowledged the deafening noise” of Brangelina coverage.


We may be hard of hearing, but didn’t that “deafening noise” just get a tad louder?

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.