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Saturday, January 8, 2011

Ted Williams: Is the Media Helping Him or Using Him?

Unless you have been residing under a rock this past week, you have seen the fairy tale-like story of homeless man, Ted Williams, "The man with the golden voice" play out across all the morning news shows, late night TV and newspapers.

Here in the States we love a happy ending. But not nearly as much as we like the fall that inevitbaly comes later. Already we're seeing images of past arrests juxtaposed with his recording voiceovers for MSNBC and Kraft. We just love to build people up to tear them down and then discard them when the new shiny toy of the moment comes along.

The problem is no one, especially someone troubled enough to become an addict and consequently homeless for many years, can have the skills required to manage the onslaught of pressure that comes with sudden celebrity. Williams appears to be extremely fragile and I can't help but wonder - who's lookng out for his well-being? Relatively newly sober I worry if he has the strength and skills to deal with the baracudas out there who only want a piece of him for their own gain.

Reading how his reunion with his mother, whom he's not seen in over ten years was delayed until all was clear with producers, showed me that this isn't about helping a troubled man, it's about ratings. And if all does not go well and Williams succombs to the pressures, you can be sure they'll all be right there when he goes to "Celebrity Rehab." Shame on all of them.

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