antennagate, Kanyegate, nipplegate, Tigergate, gatecrashergate, crygate, maidgate, and of course Weinergate. The pointless “stories” with the suffix ‘gate’ added to the end to imply scandal go on and on. And it seems like it’s becoming more and more prevalent as of late, possibly because America’s media is a bunch of lazy, uncreative, herd following, scandal driven, fear mongering, ratings seeking hacks—not all of them obviously, but a good majority of the ones Americans tune in to.

None of the above ‘gates’ should even be a story—barring Anthony Weiner’s troubles with ladies on Twitter and Facebook, but name a politician and tell me they haven’t had an affair, or something resembling one, or done something illegal. Breaking a story about Lebron James and company having maybe cried in the locker room after a loss is not journalism, it’s called paparazzi. And that is really what the majority of our media is becoming: paparazzi looking to get dirt on anyone in the limelight so they can add the suffix ‘gate’ to something, have a popular headline, and potentially drive ratings up.

Sociologist John Thompson hits the nail on the head about the gate scandal syndrome: “A self-reproducing and self-reinforcing process, driven on by competitive and combative struggles in the media and political fields and giving rise to more and more scandals which increasingly become the focus of mediated forms of public debate, marginalizing or displacing other issues and producing on occasion a climate of political crisis which can debilitate or even paralyse a government.”

Please leave the ‘gate’ to the original Watergate and come up with actual stories with well thought out headlines (which is actually named after the Watergate complex in D.C., so really the ‘gate’ suffix is even more irrelevant and pointless).