Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The Runaway News Story

Since everything has already been said about Jennifer Wilbanks, I am not going to talk about her here.

Instead, I am going to talk about how the blogosphere (or, the part of it known to myself) reacted to the story.

A few things surprised me.

1) The inordinate amount of publicity JW got in the blogosphere. I would hazard a guess that she received a lot more coverage in this medium than, say, the other JW of the recent times, Jeff Weise, not to mention the papal election and other, more news-worthy news.

2) The way a lot of people have been passing judgement on a person they have never met. Yes, crank-calling 911 is a very bad thing to do, and reparations need to be made in form of fines, community service, etc. But, from a few posts/comments that I’ve read, one could think it’s a serial killer we’re talking about here. People have sure been expressing a lot of hopes concerning her future, and I am putting this very mildly!

What amazed me in particular was the amount of predictions as to how JW’s marriage will turn out, what kind of a mother she’ll be, etc. etc. Can we step back, take a deep breath, and remind ourselves that we know absolutely nothing about these two families and the details of what goes on between them? We don’t know who and why was pushing for the 600-guest wedding. We don’t know why she decided to run off. We do not know if the fiancé means what he says, or he is merely saying all these nice things to keep the media off the two families’ backs.

It isn’t your average, middle-class, suburban John and Jane getting married (or not). These are “two prominent families of their town” we’re talking about. Do you know how things work out in these families? I don’t. And I have yet to read an informed post on the issue, from someone who knows the families personally or has inside knowledge on how this kind of family operates. As far as we are concerned, we could, with equal success, be discussing soap opera characters on our blogs.

(Update: Ask and you shall receive! SC&A have just put Cyli's post up and she does have the inside knowledge of the issue. The post is here.)

Here’s some of what I’ve read in the blogosphere on the subject so far:

1) Michele has shown a lot of class, as usual. I agree with every word of her post. Interesting comments.

2) Normally, I second every word of what SC&A say. On this subject, however, I have found myself disagreeing with the posts, and most of the comments. How could I?! (ducks)

3) Not sure if this was inspired by the JW story or not, but it’s definitely relevant and I liked it a lot. Thanks, Ilona!

4) Nice touch at the end Vicki! Agreed 100%, she should have just said NO!

5) Paula addresses the problem from an interesting angle. While I agree in general, my take on apologies is that actions speak louder than words. Don’t just say you’re sorry; do something! This, again, is a general observation on my part.

6) I liked this one the most! Classic!

And with that, I’m going to abandon the subject… I have had enough of the soap opera for the week… the real life beckons.

The Goldie has spoken at 3:35 PM

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