Thursday, January 24, 2008

It’s taken two days for the exploitation of Heath Ledger’s death to start, and it always WAS going to start, and kicking off the whole thing is Fox News’ John Gibson who more or less set aside his entire show for the purposes of making fun of Heath Ledger as a a “weirdo” with a “serious drug problem.”

Here’s a bit of a transcript:

On yesterday’s drop in the stock market:

GIBSON: Maybe he had a serious position in the market.

TOM SULLIVAN: And possibly today, he looked at the window and said…

GIBSON: “Oh my God.”

SULLIVAN: His name’s not Keith Bledger, right?

GIBSON: He was depressed about yesterday’s downturn in the world stock markets.
On the Democratic debate in South Carolina:

GIBSON: Apparently Heath Ledger was suicidal and his friends saw it coming. I think he watched the Clinton-Obama debate last night. I think he was an Edwards guy, cause he saw his Edwards guy was just completely irrelevant.

In reality, New York City Police spokesman Paul J. Browne told the New York Times that there was “no obvious indication of suicide.”

This is really just the good old reliable and lucrative Ann Coulter business model. I mean, I Coulter didn’t invent it but she’s such an obvious whackjob that it’s easy to figure out what’s going on if you use her name. That’s actually half the point.

It’s the same thing each time; something happens evoking genuine human concern and then some talking head who needs to sell a few books systematically and insensitively lampoons it. I suspect that people who listen to right wing talk back radio are generally angry and frustrated with their lives and this kind of mindless antagonism somehow provides them with catharsis and the feeling that someone in power understands their frustration with being poor and working hard. Then we all talk about it; outraged. That’s all it is.

Plus, to be fair, it’s not always right wingers who use this business model. Germaine Greer uses it all the time in the most obvious way. Any time she needs a little press she’ll describe Australia as parochial and culturally stunted because Australia reacts badly to that kind of statement and lashes out at her. More recently she said Princess Diana wasn’t really the fashion icon she is made out to be.

Actually, kicking off the wave of Heath Ledger exploitation was a Church in Kansas but I don’t think we need to really name them. They’re like a spoilt child who acts out if you pay attention. I mean, all these people do but they're particularly bad. [source]

No comments: