Not too often will you see me writing in a completely serious tone, but this will be one of those instances.
I opened my browser yesterday and saw the tragic news of Heath Ledger's passing and was stunned. Then I watched the ensuing circus that followed his death and was even more appalled.
The news broadcasts focused on what a phenomenal actor he was and what tragic steps led to his death. They focused on the dark roles he took. Replaying the final months of his life like they are talking about a product and not a person. I was sickened.
I tune in to shows such as Entertainment Tonight, The Insider and Inside Edition on a regular basis and was amazed at the information that was inaccurate from print news reports and how they hung everything on those inaccuracies. Watching these jackals feast on every minute detail just to be able to say they were the first with the details made me sick. No regard for the person, just breaking the news first.
They showed interviews and dissected every move or twitch that he made. What could it mean, he seems antsy, tired? Maybe he's antsy or tired! But that wouldn't be too sensational now would it?
I've never been so happy to be in print news and be a sports writer. I love entertainment news and would love to write some entertainment articles in the future but if that means I have to check my morals at the door, then I'll never touch it. I would rather be an unknown writer than be a known parasite.
The part of this story that really incites me and is completely heartbreaking is his daughter Matilda. I've seen stories over the past two years of how adoring of a father Ledger was and the proof was in the pictures. You would see the two taking walks, eating ice cream and just having a good time. As a father myself, the one revelation that floored me was the fact that she probably will never remember her times with her father. That is the most tragic part of this story. Now she and her mother will have to endure cameras being thrust into their faces and asked the ridiculous question "How do you feel?" Come on; let them have some time to grieve. Show your soul. But that won't happen because the mercenaries with cameras have to earn their bucks.
As I'm writing this my TV is on Nancy Grace (by total accident), her and her panel of guests are talking about the timeline and why one of the Olsen twins was called before 911. Carlos Diaz comes on and sets her straight about the content of the conversations and she cuts him short, goes off on him and switches back to someone else. I've watched this woman do this on a number of occasions, mainly when people oppose her views on a subject. She fills her program with little yes-people who scramble like puppies ready to please. Check it out sometime and have a chuckle -- just my opinion.
In closing, I could care less about Ledger's acting ability, although I'm a huge fan, what I care about is the way these tabloid shows and entertainment programs go after the story and repeatedly report things that within minutes are proven to be false. It pains me to think that his child will be caught in a whirlwind of all of this while her mother will struggle to explain to her that her father is gone.
My heart and prayers go out to Ledger, his family and most of all, his little girl.