Mary Arline (queen_of_kithia) wrote,
Mary Arline


I wrote a fairly lengthy post in which I examined all the stupid people who are saying and doing stupidly insensitive things (intentionally or otherwise) in the wake of Heath Ledger's death. And then I thought, "But isn't that just sort of stooping to their level? I mean, why else are they saying and doing these things but to get attention?" So, having cleansed it from my system, I'm not going to talk at length about it. I did mention John Gibson by name, and I want to acknowledge that he has not been the only one saying and doing insensitive things, although he was definitely the best-scripted and arguably the worst (with the possible exception of the Westboro Baptist Church wanting to protest Heath's funeral, but everything they do is so beyond the pale of human decency that it almost belongs in a separate category). Based on Gibson's apology, I have forgiven him for his remarks, but I have also sent a letter to the muckety-mucks at Fox News asking that he face disciplinary action; I don't necessarily want him to lose his job over this, but he should have to face the consequences of his actions. (Not that I hold out a lot of hope that Fox News will carry out my request, but at least I made my feelings known, and not in a way that would empower Gibson by giving him material for his shows. Plus, I think I made a well-reasoned and audience-appropriate case.)

I do actually just have a couple more things to say about John Gibson, which are probably more charitable than he deserves:

  • While his apology was rather lukewarm, and while he cleverly side-stepped any acknowledgement of actually having done anything wrong by saying, "I'm sorry that some took my comments as anti-gay and insensitive," I'm still rather impressed that he apologized for being taken as anti-gay. I thought that's how Fox News wanted to be perceived; I always thought that's what they were going for.

  • I've seen a lot of people make comments like "Just wait until he (or someone he cares about) dies, then we can make jokes and see how he likes it," which is a perfectly understandable reaction, but anyone who did that would just be stooping to his level, and I would have no choice but to condemn that. I didn't feel as though Jerry Falwell's death was a huge loss to humanity, but neither did I feel the need to celebrate his passing. What I'm about to say is almost a cliché, but it's no less true for that: you can't fight evil with evil, or hatred with least, not if you hope to defeat it.

So I just want to briefly mention a couple of other points:

  • The tabloids (whether written or televised) are making a lot of Heath Ledger's alleged drug abuse (and I can't stress the word "alleged" enough) and the strain it might have had on his relationship with Michelle Williams, and I just want to say that that is none of our damn business; it is a private matter between the two of them and we, the public, don't need to know anything about it.

  • Today I saw a commercial for "Entertainment Tonight!" advertising a story that runs along those same lines, asking rhetorically "Was his death an accident?" to which, of course, the answer is we don't know yet but that seems to be the most likely scenario based on the actual facts we have available at this time. I mention "Entertainment Tonight!" specifically because there have been times that I have watched it as sort of a guilty pleasure. I've never made an effort to tune in, but sometimes I've been drawn in by their opening teasers. But never again. For shame, Mary Hart, for shame! (I single out Mary Hart specifically because, I'm embarrassed to say, she's a fellow South Dakotan.

I found a quote by a Joel McHale, who is evidently the host of some gossip show, that pretty much says everything I want to say on the subject:
Heath Ledger passed away this week, and in all the years we've been doing this show, we've never had cause to mention him. So, stop digging through the dirt, weasels. A talented, decent guy is gone and our thoughts go out to those who knew him.
Tags: heath ledger
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