Editor's note: Roland Martin is a syndicated columnist and author of "The First: President Barack Obama's Road to the White House." He is a commentator for TV One Cable network and host of a Sunday morning news show.
(CNN) -- As a second-generation caterer, I would ordinarily be peacock proud and hyena happy about the prospects of anyone getting married. Yet when I saw the obese coverage around the wedding announcement of Britain's Prince William and his fiancée, Kate Middleton, I felt it was sickening to watch.
There was no one television broadcast or cable network that was more egregious than the other. Frankly, all were shameful with the level of attention given to the announcement of next year's nuptials. It's wrong for anyone to suggest that Prince William isn't a newsmaker, but this wedding is more entertainment than politics or hard news. Yet this was the lead story on NBC's evening newscast? Really?
It was more perplexing considering the announcement was reported on the same day that President Barack Obama awarded the first Medal of Honor to a living soldier since Vietnam. With the United States engaged in two wars, and so much attention being put on our soldiers, it made perfect sense for the national media to turn everyone's attention to one of our own, Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta of Iowa.
After the royal engagement coverage, how can today's journalists seriously complain about the softening of news and about more Americans caring about gossip and photos of celebrities walking down the street to buy a cup of coffee rather than paying attention to the news that truly affects their lives?
Look, I get the mammoth ratings from the wedding of Prince Charles and Princess Diana in 1981. But what we have seen this week has been ridiculous.
In the media we often talk about news judgment. It is all subjective, based on the person or persons who make the decisions in each respective newsroom.
I can guarantee you that if I had my own TV show or was an executive producing one, the royal wedding wouldn't have made it into the first block. No doubt it would have been mentioned, but it would have been beyond me to put a wedding announcement of a royal couple from another country at the top of an American newscast.
Longtime journalist Ted Koppel recently blasted the opinion-driven TV shows on Fox and MSNBC, and Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia went so far as saying the two should be shut down. Frankly, I find the latter to be nonsensical, but it is important that we sometimes step back and say, "Are we contributing to the dumbing down of the public by virtue of some of our dumb news decisions?"
Let me be clear: There is a place for sports, entertainment and lifestyle-related stories. I disagree when someone suggests that such stories aren't news. They are news, just a different type of news. But there is such a thing as overkill, and when it came to the royal wedding announcement, my brothers and sisters in the media embarrassed themselves with the over-the-top coverage.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Roland S. Martin.