Pop Culture Media Glorifies Celebrity Suicides

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RUSH: Snerdley came in today, “Tell me, tell me you’re not gonna talk about Anthony Bourdain.” Oh, yes, I am. Of course I’m gonna talk about Anthony Bourdain, and the way I’m gonna do it is go back to August 12th, 2014, on this show shortly after Robin Williams’ suicide and the media treating him as a great hero, a great guy. It was a very dangerous thing as I pointed out.

RUSH ARCHIVE: The thing I worry about, I really do, they’re making such heroism out of this that I hope it doesn’t inspire a lot of copycats by people seeking the same kind of fame. That’s been one of my big concerns about social media from the get-go ’cause when I saw these people just giving up every bit of information about themselves, just this desire to have everybody know everything about them. And we know that one of the allures of pop culture media is this desire to be famous and have pop culture media talk about you. And this is one way to do it, obviously. To kill yourself is one way to get the media to spend a lot of time talking about you, if you want to be talked about. I hope it doesn’t spawn a bunch of copycats.

 

RUSH: Yeah. Well, after I made that comment the Drive-Bys came after me. I was being insensitive. How could you dare say bad things about Robin Williams. I wasn’t saying one bad thing about Robin Williams. I was just objecting to turning suicide into something heroic, because of way too many copycats. Well, here is last Wednesday Channel 4 news, WNBC in New York, the correspondent reporting on the suicide of the designer Kate Spade.

IDA SIEGAL: Doctors worry, after a high profile celebrity takes her own life, people who suffer from depression may find inspiration. A recent study found that when Robin Williams died by suicide in 2014, the suicide rate nationally jumped 10% in the following four months.

DR. MANISH ZINZUVADIA : They see coverage and then they’re led to do something that they might not have otherwise.

RUSH: Right. And we have learned since that Kate Spade’s sister said she was obsessed with the media coverage, that Kate Spade was, she was obsessed with the media coverage that Robin Williams got after his suicide. So, once again, your host accurately borne out to be true and the rest of the Drive-Bys resenting the hell out of it. It’s a problem.

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