Upon learning that topless photographs taken of her by paparazzi while she was vacationing in St. Barts had been published in various tabloids, actress Natalie Portman, then a student at Harvard, brushed off the episode: "Today's paper is used to pick up tomorrow's poop—right?" As the weeks and then years ticked on, this did very much become the case. Today, few likely recall this episode, as flurries of other news about this actress (and other similar entertainers) take its place, or as an endless expanse of celebrity gossip washes over any one given episode. This reality of how news cycles operate must be of comfort to anyone caught in the crosshairs of a given embarrassment or scandal, as they patiently wait for the scuttlebutt to die down. Although this might be very much a positive in the case of tasteless publication decisions rooted in invasions of privacy, it leads one to a broader question: Is news—both good and bad—ever transient, ever fleeting, destined almost as soon as the publish button is clicked or the broadcast ends to be forgotten (and often promptly)?
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