Author Topic: Roger Ebert Tweets Chastisement After Drunk Driving Death  (Read 14899 times)

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zoidberg

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Re: Roger Ebert Tweets Chastisement After Drunk Driving Death
« Reply #15 on: June 22, 2011, 06:35:22 AM »
I understand his sentiment, but these are real people suffering real grief, regardless of how people view their entertainment medium.

It was way too soon to tweet that or any judgemental tweet on the accident. Waiting a bit won't dilute the message. The accident itself was just as much of a wake up call as anyone would hope Roger Ebert's tweet was. I thought his tweet was really tasteless. Comments about "considering the audience he caters to" are not entirely accurate. My husband loves Jacka$$ and I can assure you he is not likely to behave recklessly.

Totally agree with this. The family of Ryan Dunn warrant the same consideration and compassion as any other family who has had this happen to them.

Also, DF and I have watched every Jacka$$ movie and most of the series. We have never driven drunk. Neither have our friends, who also watched the movies.

baglady

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Re: Roger Ebert Tweets Chastisement After Drunk Driving Death
« Reply #16 on: June 22, 2011, 07:32:06 AM »
I can totally see myself making a comment like Ebert's, and maybe even posting it on Facebook (or Twitter, if I used it) for the amusement of my friends. It's the sort of flip, gallows-humorish remark you hear all the time in newsrooms and squadrooms and anywhere else where people have to process lots of grisly stories.

The difference between Roger and me (sorry, couldn't resist) is that he is a celebrity with thousands of Twitter followers. My off-the-cuff flip remarks aren't going to become national news, but his are. I'm inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt and presume that he might have briefly forgotten that and figured he was just cracking a joke to his friends.

My condolences go out to Ryan's loved ones.
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Re: Roger Ebert Tweets Chastisement After Drunk Driving Death
« Reply #17 on: June 22, 2011, 08:49:43 AM »
Since at this point the cause of death isn't known, he's A) jumping the gun and B) being an insensitive clod IMO.

I also think Twitter was a very poor medium for commenting on this.
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Sabbyfrog2

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Re: Roger Ebert Tweets Chastisement After Drunk Driving Death
« Reply #18 on: June 22, 2011, 09:53:24 AM »
Considering that there are pictures of him consuming alcohol the same night as the accident, and there is a definite history of this sort of thing, I am going to say that it's not that premature.

I am torn. I understand people are grieving and I truly send my condolences to the them. Losing a loved one is hard no matter the circumstances. At the same time though, it's a true statement about a true situation and some of the people grieving are exactly the people that Egbert is referring too with his statement. At the risk of sounding insensitive, the fact is the people it's directed at are just as responsible for this tragedy as the two men who perished are. I don't understand why it needs to be sugarcoated for them. It may not be sensitive, but I don't know that I disagree with it. In my opinion, you don't get to claim you really cared about someone in life if you couldn't even be bothered to try to stop them from losing their life. His death is a direct result of thier own lack of action. I am not sure why's it inherently wrong to point that out, even if it hurts. It's also very possible that I am very bias in my opinion because I've been in this situation.

I lost a friend to drunk driving (they were the drunk driver) as a teenager and my at the time best friend was one of the friends was at the party and one of the people who didn't stop him from driving. (I wasn't at that party as I didn't drink; they never invited me to parties where they knew alcohol would be at because they all knew I'd protest it and be the downer. I am grateful for that to this day.) She flat out told me that she felt responsible and was shocked when I didn't say anything to the contrary. I think she thought I was going to offer her comfort instead of saying "You're right. You are responsible. Now you have to live with it." I also blamed the others at the party and I was very vocal to them about how I felt about it. 

I'll admit I was young and not very tactful in my own grief about my friends death but looking back, I don't apologize for it. Everyone else was worried about making them feel better and helping them in their grief. I was told over and over that I needed to be more sensitive and supporting because "they are grieving too". I just got tired of the excuses... "Well they are young" or "everyone makes mistakes" and "you weren't there" and the like. I still don't accept any of those excuses because there is no excuse for doing nothing. All they had to do was get his keys away from him. Instead, they all took the easy way out because, by thier own admission, they didnt want to make waves or be the party pooper. I believed that they needed to be held accountable for their cowardice so I made it my mission at the time to hold them accountable. Some of us in the group healed and got past it after about a year but our relationship was never the same. Some of us never hung out again.

Again, my approach was likely pretty drastic and not recommended but my friends death was preventable not just by him but also his "friends" who didn't try to intervene. I feel the same about this case, which is actually exasperated by his association that they all make their living off of doing, to be frank, stupid dangerous stunts. I cannot support that very poor decision to do nothing no matter how much it hurt their feelings. I believe that letting a friend who's been drinking too much get in their car and drive is not a mistake, it's a choice. I realize that it's not the most sensitive position on it, but that's how I feel about it.

Having said that, I am not sure that Twitter is the best forum to air those feelings. If they were in the same room and we were in private I might not hold back but I don't know if I'd make a public statement like that. It's seems like you're just rubbing it in needlessly at that point.

Twik

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Re: Roger Ebert Tweets Chastisement After Drunk Driving Death
« Reply #19 on: June 22, 2011, 10:02:41 AM »
Well, I wouldn't have made that a public statement on my behalf. But neither am I terribly sympathetic to the delicate feelings of those associated with the show. Donkey and its ilk have been part of a movement in the entertainment industry to "break the boundaries of good taste," which they have held up as a valid, even noble, goal. You know, get rid of censorship, and inhibitions, and all that stuff. We should all just $*%(#)@ing relax, and realize that NOTHING is sacred enough not to be joked about, ad nauseum (literally, in some cases). I assume that the Donkey philosophy would be to make as many tasteless jokes about such an accident as possible - if it happened to someone else.

Having achieved their laudable goal of degrading public sensibility to a great extent, it's rather hypocritical for those associated with the show then to wonder why the public in general, and people in the industry in particular, are  not as sensitive to the boundaries of good taste as they used to be.

« Last Edit: June 22, 2011, 10:04:26 AM by Twik »
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Re: Roger Ebert Tweets Chastisement After Drunk Driving Death
« Reply #20 on: June 22, 2011, 10:24:15 AM »
Well, I wouldn't have made that a public statement on my behalf. But neither am I terribly sympathetic to the delicate feelings of those associated with the show. Donkey and its ilk have been part of a movement in the entertainment industry to "break the boundaries of good taste," which they have held up as a valid, even noble, goal. You know, get rid of censorship, and inhibitions, and all that stuff. We should all just $*%(#)@ing relax, and realize that NOTHING is sacred enough not to be joked about, ad nauseum (literally, in some cases). I assume that the Donkey philosophy would be to make as many tasteless jokes about such an accident as possible - if it happened to someone else.

Having achieved their laudable goal of degrading public sensibility to a great extent, it's rather hypocritical for those associated with the show then to wonder why the public in general, and people in the industry in particular, are  not as sensitive to the boundaries of good taste as they used to be.


I acually was coming back to post something like this but you stated it much more eloquant than I would have so I'll just POD it.

Shoo

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Re: Roger Ebert Tweets Chastisement After Drunk Driving Death
« Reply #21 on: June 22, 2011, 10:31:33 AM »
Since at this point the cause of death isn't known, he's A) jumping the gun and B) being an insensitive clod IMO.

I also think Twitter was a very poor medium for commenting on this.

Actually, the cause of death *is* known.  He was going 130 MPH and crashed through a guard rail, obliterating his car, himself, and his passenger in the crash and the fire afterward.

And based on the pictures of him drinking just a few hours before the crash, I don't think there's a lot of room for doubt as to whether he was driving impaired or not.  But since the toxicology reports are not available yet, it has not been made "official."  But I don't think it's unreasonable to assume he was drunk.

Should Ebert have tweeted about it?  Eh, I don't know.  Sometimes the truth hurts.

Poirot

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Re: Roger Ebert Tweets Chastisement After Drunk Driving Death
« Reply #22 on: June 22, 2011, 10:36:46 AM »
Sabby - I understand your point about his friends, and can appreciate how you feel in view of your personal experiences, but the men involved had others who loved them too.

Are their parents to blame and deserving of additional grief? Siblings? Grandparents? Is every friend they had responsible for what they drank that night? Whether they were there or not?

Also, in your situation, you were close to the people involved, and had intimate knowledge of the details of the situation. I also think that your reaction, while understandable, (and probably accurate as far as friends who were actually at the party) was needlessly hurtful and damaging if it happened at a funeral or related gathering, or if any family or friends who were not at the 'party' were present. Your opinions are valid, but being right does not make us judge and jury, nor does it entitle us to stick in the knife and twist it.

I think we can all agree that Roger Ebert did not have personal knowledge of these young men, or any personal relationship with any of the family, etc. It seems to me that I, my friends and my adult children are some of the people who he is referring to, solely by virtue of being friends of the family or fans of the show or movies. Should we all now be held responsible for the actions of everyone we love, admire or care about? How exactly were his loved ones supposed to monitor his every action?

Bam Margera, Ryan's best friend, co-star, etc, was interviewed this morning on our local morning show. He is absolutely distraught and devastated. He probably leads a very similar lifestyle to the one Ryan led.  :( Does this make him responsible? Even though he was 3000 miles away when the accident happened? Is his grief less valid because you or Roger Ebert think he is in some way responsible, based solely on what you (general) think you know about his lifestyle?

I have been at parties where friends of mine have had (IMO) too much to drink and drive. Hastings or I always try to take their keys and drive them home.(our group has a much stricter 'policy' for hosting in our homes) One time, I actually took a punch from one of my closest friends who was insisting on driving. We wrestled the keys away and got her home safely, thank deity.

If for whatever reason we had been unable to physically stop her from driving, and the worst had happened, do you truly believe that everyone at the party would have been responsible for her death? This is a well respected professional woman in her 40's who is not an alcoholic, and is a responsible member of society, yet she almost made a horrible mistake. Would that mistake make her or her family any less 'deserving' of support or sympathy?

The blunt fact of the matter is that ultimately, no one is responsible for the actions of another, and intentional infliction of pain based on your (general) or Roger Ebert's judgment is wrong, IMO.

In an additional note, not directed at any one poster directly, I am finding some of the comments in this thread hurtful to me personally as someone who is saddened by Ryan and Zach's death. PPs have also communicated feeling sadness and grief at the tragedy.

You are all correct that sometimes truth hurts, but that doesn't mean we need to use it to hurt each other here.  :'(

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Betelnut

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Re: Roger Ebert Tweets Chastisement After Drunk Driving Death
« Reply #23 on: June 22, 2011, 10:43:21 AM »
Actually, I bet a lot of Ryan's friends/family agree with Ebert.

Frankly, I sort of doubt a Tweet would make someone feel worse in this situation.  The family/friends already feel as low as you can go. 
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Re: Roger Ebert Tweets Chastisement After Drunk Driving Death
« Reply #24 on: June 22, 2011, 10:45:31 AM »
I certainly don't think the use of the word "donkey" was inappropriate, as this man made a whole heap of money being a "donkey" and happily assumed that title in life.

I'm really torn. My brain says that this wasn't appropriate, at least not now. My heart agrees with him. Back in the olden days when my friends and I were younger and more foolish, I actually picked up a friend and carried her to my car when I couldn't get her keys away from her (thank goodness she's little). It does bother me that his friends let him get behind the wheel drunk. It seems pretty irresponsible. Of course, he's responsible for his own actions, but at the same time, I wonder why they didn't intervene.

I understand the thoughts about this guy's family, but people died because of his actions.

I will admit personal history is a factor for me. A family friend's stepson got drunk at a party. He did the smart thing and called a friend to pick him up. Two sober friends came to get him. On the way home, they were hit by a drunk driver. The driver walked away; all 3 boys in the truck were killed.

I feel like I'm rambling and not really coherent here, mostly because my head and my heart are arguing fiercely. I'm going to keep reading responses in the hope that I'll be swayed one way or another.
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Re: Roger Ebert Tweets Chastisement After Drunk Driving Death
« Reply #25 on: June 22, 2011, 10:49:23 AM »
How would people's grief be made worse by the comment?

The man (most likely) drove drunk. Not only did he drive drink, he drove at 130mph with a passanger in the car drunk. He died. Another person died. It was stupid and irresponsible.

What Ebert did was essentially say, "Take a lesson from what happened." I don't see anything wrong with that. I don't get that it's insensitive because it's "too soon." Right now, when people are shocked about it, is when the message would be most effective, IMO.

But then again, I've lost a family member to drunk driving (he was not drunk, the person who hit him was). So, I'm a bit sensitive to it.  :-\
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Re: Roger Ebert Tweets Chastisement After Drunk Driving Death
« Reply #26 on: June 22, 2011, 10:51:26 AM »
I don't think anybody here is using the fact that Dunn killed himself and his passenger by driving drunk as a means to hurt anyone. 

I'm sorry that it hurts. But I'm not sure how I, or someone else, could answer the question posed in the OP honestly, though, without making statements that you find hurtful. 

Was Ebert insensitive?  I kind of think so, but at the same time, the Donkey guy killed someone.  Why should there be more consideration given to him/his friends/his family than to non-celebrity types who do the same thing? 

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Re: Roger Ebert Tweets Chastisement After Drunk Driving Death
« Reply #27 on: June 22, 2011, 10:56:39 AM »
I think, for me, it's more insensitive because Ebert is a celebrity with a much wider reach than an ordinary citizen expressing their opinion.

The statement from a non-celebrity would not bother me nearly as much because it wouldn't get such widespread publicity, if you KWIM?

I also apologize if I'm not expressing myself well today, and I admit I may be a little overly sensitive right now.  :-[
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Shoo

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Re: Roger Ebert Tweets Chastisement After Drunk Driving Death
« Reply #28 on: June 22, 2011, 10:59:55 AM »
Is it the publicity, then?  I mean, do Ebert's words hurt, or is it the fact that his words are being seen by lots of other people, perhaps thereby affecting *their* opinion of the guy that hurts? 

Why does one man's opinion hurt you? 

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Re: Roger Ebert Tweets Chastisement After Drunk Driving Death
« Reply #29 on: June 22, 2011, 11:09:01 AM »
He was very lucky it was only a one car wreck - he could've killed more than 2 people that night.  If his friends want to make a big deal about how offended they are about Ebert's tweet when the tweet is SUPER MINOR compared to what their friend did, no sympathy at all for them.  If there's anything here to get upset over, get upset at the guy who drove drunk and killed someone.

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