Do you remember the song “Dirty Laundry by Don Henley? One verse went like this:
We got the bubbleheaded bleach-blonde, comes on at 5
She can tell you about the plane crash with a gleam in her eye
It’s interesting when people die, give us dirty laundry
That song–about tv/tabloid news– is almost 30 years old and it still resonates today.
Here’s the question:
Why do people who’ve just been through the most traumatic event in their lives rush to be on tv to tell their story?
The woman whose husband was shot off his jet ski by Mexican drug dealers (and his mother) have become staples on the Today Show. She’s been on three times in last two weeks telling her story–how she tried to save him while the bandits were closing in on her, but, in the end, had to leave his body floating in the lake that borders the U.S. and Mexico.
Last Thursday a young man was surfing in California and was killed by a Great White Shark. On Monday his entire family was on tv talking about him and about their loss.
How can people do this?
I don’t think they’re being paid and I don’t think (for the most part) that they’re after fame.
So what’s their motivation?
Imagine that you’re going through a devastating event and your phone rings. A stranger on the other end asks you to get up at the crack of dawn the next day and talk on national tv about your recently deceased spouse/child/parent.
Would you do it?
I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I would say no.