After watching the TV coverage of Heath Ledger's passing yesterday, I couldn't help but be reminded of Don Henley's song, "Dirty Laundry". For those of you who aren't familiar with it, "Dirty Laundry" is Henley's commentary on the decline of journalism and how the people who cover the news are really just failed actors and news coverage is all about finding the "dirtiest" story about someone and running with it whether it's true or not. (Henley wrote the song fifteen years ago.) The lyrics that particularly came to mind in light of Ledger's passing are:
"Dirty little secrets, dirty little lies
We got our dirty little fingers in everybody's pie
Love to cut you down to size, we love dirty laundry"
The three "journalists" that appeared to be most guilty of this were:
Nancy Grace. On her show, Grace called on a number of "professionals" (i.e mental health "experts") who prattled on about Ledger's "alleged" state of mind at the time of his death and what the meaning of all those pills scattered around his body "probably" meant. I didn't really pay too close attention to what they were saying until the term "bipolar disorder" came up. I then did what hopefully any sane, sensitive person would do. I changed the channel and put on QVC. (If I want to watch schlock I'll buy it from QVC.)
Later I put on CNN and Anderson Cooper. I felt Anderson is pretty safe. He's above swimming with the sharks. Well, unfortunately I was wrong. There was Coop interviewing "Dr." Drew ("Celebrity Rehab") Pinsky. I thought alright, alright, this may look bad but give it a chance. Well, not two minutes into the interview and there was "Dr." Pinsky prattling on about Ledger's "supposed" drug addictions and how he "may" have spent time in rehab and how currently "Dr." Pinsky is treating some "celebrities" on his new show. That's when I had to turn the thing off. The idea that "Dr." Pinsky put Heath Ledger in the same category as Jeff "I can't take a piss without doing a line of cocaine" Conaway just made me sick to my stomach.
Finally I decided to turn on the computer and that's when I wound up at Harvey " the Anti-Christ" Levin's TMZ. When I started scrolling through the sight I at first thought I was watching updates on the Giants/Packers game. TMZ was thoughtful enough to update the news about Ledger's passing as they made it up (sorry) as it came in. At 5:33 it was noted Ledger died at Mary Kate Olsen's apartment. At 5:34 Ledger was labeled a drug abuser. At 5:34 they decided Ledger's death was an accident. At 5:41 they decided it wasn't Mary Kate's apartment after all. At 6:09 they decided there were pills scattered about the bed. Then finally at 6:40 pm, it happened. Harvey got his money shot! Heath Ledger's body bag was being carried out of the building by the NYPD! BINGO!!! Harvey, Harvey, Harvey. Heath Ledger, the talented young man who had so much to offer and was deemed a kind gentle soul by all those who knew him had trouble sleeping at night. Just how DO you sleep at night????
I guess there are some lessons that can be taken from Ledger's passing: don't be famous, don't die way to young, and don't die under mysterious circumstances.
As for me, I'm going to mourn Ledger's passing the way I'm sure he would want to be remembered: watch the DVDs of his movies, head to his favorite watering hole the Beatrice Inn and down a few Guiness. Cheers mate!