Friday, February 08, 2008

Heather Ledger: A death to ponder

There obviously has been a healthy love of pop culture among some of my fellow bloggers, and I'm honestly surprised I'm the first one to touch on the death of Heath Ledger.

Sadly a New York City medical examiner report confirmed some suspcions this week: He died from an overdose of oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam and doxylamine.

I happen to occasionally tune in to "The View" with my grandmother. Shortly after Ledger's Jan. 22 death the co-hosts were speculating on whether or not drugs contributed. Even though it was not clear then, I think Elisabeth Hasselbeck made a great point. She said the media seem to focus on female stars who appear to be in trouble with drugs or otherwise. Among those are Louisiana's own Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, the Olsen twins, etc...

But either the Heath Ledgers and Colin Farrells of stardom aren't partying enough to make photographers notice, or we only care when it looks like a formerly good girl is being unladylike. That to me reeks of a double standard.

And I hate that the very industry I work for seems to keep it going. Giving media consumers what they need versus what they want can mean finding a difficult balance. I'd be a tough one to convince that anyone needs as much star power as some of us put out there. But since we do, I feel like there should be some sense of responsibility to portray the state of things accurately.

So you consumers of all things paparazzi, do you think coverage of the partiers is fair? And what do media practitioners owe you?

(Photo courtesy of The Associated Press.)


alan said...

The shame is that this tragedy could have been prevented so easily. I know this from my own personal experience, as related here:

Anonymous said...

Pete Doherty gets a lot of bad press for partying. But he lives in London so he's not as well known in the US. But he is well known on which is THE only relevant news source, except for the shreveport times of course.

Adam Kealoha Causey said...

Thanks for the post, Alan. Whatever the circumstance, the death truly is a tragedy. And anonymous, thanks for being clever. I should've mentioned Amy Winehouse earlier. Who can forget her this year?

Anonymous said...

It's pretty easy to understand why drug addicted women get more press. Women love to see another woman fall on her face and guys love to look at hot pieces of a** being slutty.