Remember when homeless Ohioan Ted Williams suddenly got fifteen seconds of fame for having a golden voice for radio? Mercury contributor Dave Bow wrote a critique of the whole media blow-up in in January's news section:
It was the tone of the Williams story that really rankled people like Julie McCurdy, housing organizer for Sisters of the Road and a co-founder of the homeless rights group Right 2 Survive PDX. "It was like he was 'pet of the month,'" she told me. "To me, it was highly offensive."
And exactly one month later, what's happened? The corporations that swooped in to help out Williams have unceremoniously ditched the homeless man after info about his imperfect past came to light. On the heels of news that Williams has a criminal record and abandoned his children, Kraft foods and the Cavaliers both pulled the plug on their sponsorships. From GOOD:
He's been abandoned almost as quickly as he was embraced, and for nothing more egregious than any other common celebrity infraction.
In the future, it would probably be wise for Americans and the media to remember that people emerging from the depths to which Williams sank need time to recover before they're thrown in front of cameras and lights and millions of people.