Frank S. Baker, assistant chief of the Associated Press's Los Angeles Bureau has a memo for his staffers:

Now and for the foreseeable future, virtually everything involving Britney is a big deal. That doesn't mean every rumor makes it on the wire. But it does mean we want to pay attention to what others are reporting and seek to confirm those stories that WE feel warrant the wire. And when we determine that we'll write something, we must expedite it. Thanks.

What's interesting is that, as recently as October, Forbes was reporting that Ms. Spears was no longer selling tabloids:

The biggest disappointment at the newsstand? Yep, it's Britney Spears. Ironically, she landed 18 single covers during the six-month period, which also makes her the most popular cover-subject choice. With her face on the cover, glossies collectively sold some 600,000 issues below average, placing her last among cover subjects when it comes to sales. Also working against the former pop tart: an abnormally low appeal score of 3. In fact, the only celebrity faring worse was celebutante Paris Hilton, who scored a 2.

That Spears' newsmaking star is only back in the rise in the wake of a bizarre incident involving her children, the police, and Kevin Federline's bodyguard is a sad testament to the fact that no one really cares about Britney Spears anymore -- except to the extent that her life is like watching a carwreck.

Pharrell Williams said it best: "She's going through a lot that people don't recognize. You got to understand, she was a child star and she's held on way longer than most people can. You got to understand the pressure. Her record is cool, but you got to give her a second to get things back together. You're seeing a reality show that no one's producing, that no one's directing, and that's a problem."

But with the media struggling to stay relevant in the midst of more competition than ever before, it looks like Ms. Spears won't be getting "a second to get things back together".


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