Jewish World Review Feb 20, 2012/ 27 Shevat, 5772
Death for Houston as sad as her life
By Mitch Albom
Which is far different than how she was treated for the six days after she died.
During that time, Houston was dissected, analyzed, criticized and scrutinized by a steady parade of former addicts, therapists, doctors -- even political commentators like
Every news program, talk show, radio station and blog weighed in on Houston, it seemed. And every five seconds, some "expert" opinion was offered.
What most of these people had in common -- besides an unhealthy need to jump in front of a microphone -- is that they didn't know Houston personally. Maybe they met her a few times. Maybe they had a conversation. Maybe not even that.
It didn't stop them from telling national TV audiences what she must have been thinking, or what motivated her alleged early drinks at a hotel, or why she wound up dead in a bathtub at age 48.
I don't know about you, but when my time comes, I really don't want anyone I didn't call family explaining my demise.
Don't we all deserve that?
Apparently not when you are well known in this country.
Instead you get actor
You get former addict and Motley Crue bassist
You get O'Reilly, who told a Fox morning program, "This is ridiculous.
Well, first of all, many addicts, despite their troubles, don't want to kill themselves. Secondly, what truth are we not telling young people in America? For goodness sakes. We've had entertainers dying from substance abuse for as long as anyone who is alive in this country can remember.
Consider a brief list of names:
What truth are we not telling young people? If you don't know that alcohol and drugs can lead to death by this point, you are simply choosing not to pay attention.
On the other hand, we might want to check our own addiction -- to jumping to conclusions while wringing every last drop out of famous people's misfortune.
The official coroner's report on Houston won't be available for weeks. Do you think anyone in this business would wait for that? Weeks? They'll be onto something else by then. The time to strike is now!
So you get talk show bookers frantically dialing self-help authors or performers with drug experience, not because they care about
Does anyone consider, before spewing all this vitriol, that a woman died here? Sure, it may have been related to drugs and alcohol. But how many less famous Americans die every day due to what they drank, the foods they ate, what they smoked or the stress they kept piling on their bodies? Substance abuse didn't begin with the woman who sang "I Will Always Love You."
Here's what I think about
Everything else is beside the point. The truth is, in the media business, it's amazing how often we claim to be caring about the welfare of others, when we are really just serving our own purpose.
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