Thursday, February 16, 2006

"Standards" Issue

It's no wonder we citizens wander around in constant confusion as to what is and what is not acceptable behavior and who the proper arbitors of it should be. It would appear that the interests of celebrity hold the cards.

Last week I wrote my thoughts about Congress thumbing it's collective nose at the rest of us over smoking bans, health care, pensions and secret raises.

Earlier this month I sounded off on the double standard Oprah applied to James Frey; her sense of morality versus his. I figured it to be a draw - she got tremendous press for her show and book club by calling him on lying, or manipulating the truth if you'd rather. He got an equal amount of press highlighting his book to segments of the population who don't give a whit about Oprah's book club. In truth he was pilloried and humiliated before millions for having a riviting style of writing and a vivid imagination.

The other side of the "truth above all" scale was revealed today with the news that Eric Hebert, recipient of the "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" is set to stand trial for driving under the influence, possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, possessing an open container of alcohol while driving and failing to register his vehicle. More than that he is guardian to his deceased sister's two minor children. What does he get? A brand new two story house and huge media exposure; I wouldn't be surprised if there isn't a TV movie in the works somewhere.

Oprah claims to have been duped. Fingers have been pointed at Frey's agent and publisher as well as Oprah's staff for lack of due diligence. What is "Extreme Makeover's" excuse? The article says they were aware of the incident well in advance of Hebert being chosen.

James Frey said he made a mistake and wouldn't handle it the same way again. Hebert stated "I hate to use the cliche that 'I'm only human' but it was just one of those things that happened and it happened for a reason." I guess child endangerment doesn't count here. Or flat out breaking a ton of laws. It's just one of those things that happened???

As much as I fear the button and bumper sticker campaign against Joseph Duncan headlined in today's Spokesman, I understand from whence it comes. If Oprah and Geraldo and the like stay away the guy may get convicted. If not they'll probably build a center for empty nesters and name it after him. After all, it's just one of those things that happened.

1 comment:

Phil said...

My family enjoys watching Extreme Makeover because of the house -- the design, decoration, landscaping. It's rarely about the people. And the more I read about the show, the more I understand that even the producers aren't terribly concerned about the people. They look for many other things in choosing a family. First is location... Hebert's location was perfect. The producers sat down months beforehand and made up a shopping list of what they wanted: Pacific Northwest, rural, forest. The situation with the "basement house" was also perfect... It was something unique. Hebert's arrest was a minor thing when compared to all of the other factors the producers were looking at.

On Hebert as a guardian: As soon as those kids were placed in his care, the bad habits should've been kicked. If he was having trouble staying away from booze and marijuana, then he should've asked for help. I have no patience with parents who get high when there are kids to care for.