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Walter's Weird Whitney Wailing

"Whitney Houston is the story of a miracle talent, snuffed out by prescription drugs, drug abuse, and alcohol," Walter Jacobson proclaimed in his Perspective on Tuesday.

"She was a truly beautiful person who could have been a most beautiful role model for millions of young women, but she gave away that opportunity; just as Michael Jackson did, and Amy Winehouse - of the rich and careless pop music world.

"They lost themselves in celebrity, and a misguided belief that fame and fortune could save them from their demons."

Walter Jacobson, noted addiction expert.

But here's the real problem:

"We're hailing Whitney Houston, as we hail so many music stars as though they are heroes, which they are not."

We are? Name one person hailing Whitney Houston as a hero. She was certainly influential and inspiring as a musical figure, but the overriding media narrative is one of tragedy and the ravages of drugs.

"Heroes are cops and firefighters and school teachers."

Oh spare me the trite populism!

"I say hail Houston as a lesson about the ravages of drugs."

Hey, didn't I just say that?

I don't know what coverage Walter has been watching and reading, but the cable network news shows have been filled with the Dr. Drews and Sanjay Guptas of the world explaining to us yet again how addiction works. Catch up, Walter!

And the tabloids and TMZ are focused almost exclusively on the drugs reportedly found in Houston's hotel room. (To understand the whole bathtub thing, read this from xojane.

"Hail the music industry to protect its young singers and the doctors to stop dishing drugs (50 million tranquilizers a year)," Walter squeals. But shoot up Brian Urlacher but good!

"And hail the Grammy people to be better role models, and the media to focus less on who the stars are, and more on how they ought to behave."

Yes, media, tell us less who the stars are and more how they ought to behave! Um, what?

Maybe Walter ought to be a little more self-reflective. First, CBS Chicago - or any of our local news outlets and, let's face it, their network owners - is hardly the paragon for responsible media practices. That Whitney photo gallery isn't there for any reason other than to exploit her death for page views. And "Grammy Awards: Who Looked Good?" isn't exactly edifying.

Finally, it's kind of hard to read or watch this Perspective and not recall your, um, legal problems, Walter.

And you can't even sing.


See also: The Weirdness of Walter Jacobson


Comments welcome.


Posted on February 16, 2012

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