Two people especially were in the news last week. One is a middle-class mother of five, including a soldier in Iraq and a special-needs baby. She’s been married to the same man for over 20 years, and has had a pretty remarkable public career while simultaneously helping raise her family. She was in the news because she announced she would resign from her job after a year of the most hateful, subhuman attacks on her family you could imagine.
The other was a singer. He made the best-selling album in history over 25 years ago. Since then he had engaged in a long, slow, public free-fall. He had 2 brief marriages. He was quite possibly a child molester, and certainly known for all sorts of bizarre and personally destructive behavior. He was in the news because he died of a heart attack, apparently brought on by an overdose of a powerful drug his doctor illegally obtained for him.
The difference in the media’s and the public’s treatment of these two people is a great illustration of how royally screwed up our country is.