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The Wedding: The Media Is Out of Control

July 30, 2010

I realize that for public figures there is really no such thing as privacy and that it can be both a blessing and a curse. My own feeling is that we should err on the side of caution (ie. privacy) with respect to coverage of this wedding, particularly given Chelsea Clinton is currently not a public official even if she is considered by some in the media to be a public person by virtue of her parents being high profile leaders.

Susan Estrich has a commentary which I thought I’d post because I largely agree with her assessment of the media hype. It also is a very nice homage to Hillary and Bill Clinton’s parenting of Chelsea:

No, I wasn’t invited. I shouldn’t be. I’m a friend of her parents. They aren’t getting married. She is. The rule that invited guests should have a personal relationship with the bride or the groom is only the latest example of how good the Clintons (and the Mezvinskys) have been at the most important job in the world: being parents.

I have, sadly, been to plenty of weddings where the only way I knew the bride was by the dress. I have always felt silly in such situations (unless I knew the groom). What was I doing there? Whose party was it?

I don’t care how much the cake cost. I don’t care how much any of it cost or who paid or why. I don’t care who made the list. This is not a political event. It’s not a state dinner or anything close to that. It’s the wedding of two pretty terrific young people. That’s enough.

Anyone who has raised a child knows that there are no guarantees. You can try your best, but there’s no instruction manual, and there are no sure things.

Still, there are things that make it more difficult — for parents and children. Fame and too much money are among them. TMM, we call it out here. When you see kids who have no values, who don’t understand what matters and what doesn’t, who are spoiled and silly, the first thing you think is TMM. Or too much fame.

The Clintons didn’t have so much money when Chelsea was growing up, but fame and fancy friends certainly made up for it. There was no place they couldn’t go, nothing they couldn’t do or have. They made their share of mistakes.

But Chelsea wasn’t one of them.

[snip]

Over eight sometimes difficult years in the White House, they were also parents. They made clear that she was their beloved daughter, not a prop.

When she so famously crossed the White House lawn with one hand holding that of each parent, we saw not the most powerful people in the world, but a family fighting to stay together, and the girl in the middle fighting just as hard as either of them.

She picked a college 3,000 miles away. She chose to be her own person, to live privately, to stay out of the limelight.

[snip]

It is that very similarity, the normalcy, the fact that she will be surrounded by her friends and his friends — not her parents’ big donors or fancy supporters — that is the ultimate testament to what matters most.

I certainly wish the bride and groom a long, happy life together and I hope they have a wonderful day tomorrow- I am sure they will. That said, the guest list, the cost of the wedding, the type of gown and the honeymoon plans are really none of my business unless someone in the Clinton clan chooses to make it our (ie. the public) business. I understand that many Hillary fans are interested in this wedding because they are interested in the Secretary of State and simply want she and her family to be happy. But I am hoping that the media, and also the blogosphere, try to have some respect for their privacy. I know I will try. What I mean by that is that if official photos are issued- fantastic, I’d love to see them and I’ll post them here. If they aren’t issued and the only stuff circulating are illicit photos taken by some guest with his/her camera phone or by a TMZ staff person hanging from a tree, well, that crosses a line in my opinion, and you won’t see them here. Basically, I try to think to myself, “would they [the Clintons] want this photo/information posted on a blog?” I know sometimes it’s a blurry line in this age of social media and that such a judgment call can be subjective. But at the end of the day the important thing is that we at least try to use what so many in the media seem to lack- judgment.

ps. Scooter is still holding out for her invite…;)

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23 Comments leave one →
  1. PYW permalink
    July 30, 2010 1:00 pm

    I agree completely, stacy. Great post.

  2. July 30, 2010 1:23 pm

    Very nice post. The media has been crazy, but the Clintons have always brought out the worst, the very worst, in the mainstream national press. Chelsea seems to have taken incredibly well all the negative press the Clintons have received over the years, especially in 2008. So hopefully this is not catching them by surprise, and they are still enjoying every moment. I am confident they are relishing it all.

    So Scooter is still holding out for an invite. Is Notch not one for big events?🙂

    • July 30, 2010 1:39 pm

      Well, Notch likes to be wherever Scooter is NOT, so I figure she’d stay home with me😉

  3. plural permalink
    July 30, 2010 1:51 pm

    Brava, great post.

    Well, now Bill has shown up, and will distract everyone🙂

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100730/ap_on_re_us/us_chelsea_s_wedding

    • PYW permalink
      July 30, 2010 4:13 pm

      That’s a nice article. I love the interaction between Bill and the little girl.🙂

  4. Sally permalink
    July 30, 2010 2:23 pm

    Not much in the media interests me these days but I am faithfully following the wedding news, outrageous rumors and all. May the married years be as lovely as the wedding. (And, may the Clintons be grandparents many times over.)

  5. rachel permalink
    July 30, 2010 2:33 pm

    I agree the media is a little nuts airing a bunch a family business that has nothing to do with Chelsea or marc.

  6. HillaryFan permalink
    July 30, 2010 3:12 pm

    Great post- I think it’s good to be mindful of the fact that they clearly want privacy, so people should at least try to respect that. But it seems few are actually trying so it’s nice that you are stacy. You seem to have better judgment than most on this. I find all the details of the wedding interesting but I remind myself that Hillary, Bill and Chelsea kept every single detail quiet for a reason, so it would seem they don’t really want it shouted all over the place accompanied by a media, gossip, blogosphere frenzy, which is exactly what has happened.

  7. discourseincsharpminor permalink
    July 30, 2010 4:50 pm

    I hope the bride and groom have many happy years together. There have been a couple articles, like the one you sited, that have been good and not full of “estimated costs” and I’ve enjoyed those. I don’t care what any of it costs – the Clintons have made and continue to make good money and can spend it as they choose to. Last I heard, wasn’t that this “American Dream” everyone’s always chasing?

    Lastly, the Clinton’s have been making regular appearances in my living room television for nearly twenty years. I’ve been watching the political and personal ups and downs since I was six. I want this to be a purely joyous moment for the Clintons and Mezvinskys and if it means I don’t get to see a picture – fine, I can deal. So I hope all cell phones stay tucked away and somebody goes and shakes all the paparazzi from the surrounding trees.

    • PYW permalink
      July 30, 2010 4:57 pm

      The Clintons-Mezvinskys also are considerate of the local residents, which is not surprising to anyone who knows them. From that AP story:

      Andrea Alvin, who lives on the same road as Astor Courts, told The Associated Press that state police notified her three or four days ago that the road would be closed from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and gave her a sticker so she could get in and out. She came home Thursday to find a bottle of wine from the nearby Clinton Vineyards, courtesy of the wedding planner. It came with a note apologizing for any inconvenience and included a phone number to call if there were any problems.

  8. Carolyn-Rodham permalink
    July 30, 2010 8:09 pm

    I don’t want to pressure anyone, but I can’t wait to see Hillary and Bill as grandparents. It’ll be a poignant, priceless moment.

    • HillaryFan permalink
      July 30, 2010 8:23 pm

      LOL. But no pressure Chelsea!

  9. =Justice permalink
    July 30, 2010 8:25 pm

    Maybe Hillary Clinton will start to support full marriage equality for gay people after her daughter gets married. After all, if this is the most special, important moment of Hillary’s life as she has claimed, how can she continue to rationalize disallowing other potential mother’s of the bride (or groom) from being able to experience that, simply because their kids are gay?

    • Carolyn-Rodham permalink
      July 31, 2010 10:03 am

      Couldn’t agree more. She came pretty close to endorsing gay marriage in one of her recent interviews but fell short — talked about how wonderful it was that barriers were falling for interfaith, interracial marriage, etc. without coming right out and saying, “Maybe we can look forward in the not too distant future to these rights being extended to all GLBT Americans, too.” I know it’s just political
      expediency and that she’d have no
      chance of being elected Prez in 2016 if
      she made such a statement, but geez, I wish someone in high places in
      public office would say, “What IS it with you people and marriage?! What is the big f***ing deal?!!” or words to that effect.😉

  10. AmericanBill permalink
    July 30, 2010 8:28 pm

    Yeah Freak, lets just let anyone marry anyone they want- their brother, sister, dog. Anything goes. Quit trying to push your gay agenda on everyone else.

  11. July 30, 2010 8:38 pm

    @AB- I know I shouldn’t even acknowledge your existence but after reading that comment I can’t help but wonder- are you sure you aren’t just pretending to be a wingnut with that nonsense? I mean, the whole “next think you know we’ll be marrying our dogs” argument really wasn’t worth the three seconds you spent typing it. I mean, come on, that’s really the best you can do? That’s your very best effort?

    Pathetic.

  12. Carolyn-Rodham permalink
    July 31, 2010 10:09 am

    Not to *cough* change the subject, but Chelsea sure got a gorgeous day here in New York for her wedding — nothing but sunshine, 80, low humidity. Mazel tov to both families!

    • July 31, 2010 10:11 am

      Please, by all means, change the subject!

      Yup, beautiful day all along the Northeast, really couldn’t ask for better weather for a wedding, particularly given its been so damn hot in July.

  13. Tan permalink
    August 1, 2010 9:13 am

    Great post. You are one of the few voices of reason in the blogosphere in regards to your belief that the Clintons deserve some element of privacy unless they choose to make some things public. If only more would follow your lead. I have seen some things even on blogs devoted to Hillary, which in my opinion, just fan the flames of gossip.

  14. August 1, 2010 9:23 am

    Assalamu alaikum wr wb,

    Congratulation for Chelsea Clinton’s wedding. Finally you become Grand Mother and Grand Father for President Clinton. God Bless all of you.

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