Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Sara Story

I'm just the Sara Evans divorce debacle making as much news around the country as it is here in Nashville?

It is front page news here.

Of course, she is a Nashville resident, and a successful country music artist, but it has consumed our news media this week. Last night she went on ABC's Dancing With the Stars to explain that she was dropping out of the competition--which was one of the more successful endeavors of her career. Now, the publicity surrounding her divorce has overshadowed the recognition she was building for the right reasons.

I have often wondered how the legitimate news media feels about these types of stories that are so close to tabloid journalism. I am pleased to say that there is still a conscience out there. John Dwyer, morning show host at WKRN had this to say:

I take no great pleasure in delving into the personal lives of others but this story has so much very public information, information that is newsworthy because of the legal filings.

[There are] so many points and counterpoints:

Point: She has the right to file for divorce.
Counterpoint: Yeah, but she couldn't have picked a worse time than right in the middle of a national dance competition. The publicity is at a white-hot level.

Point: There's no good time to do this. She did it to protect and take care of her three children.
Counterpoint: Then why did she list in details her husband's alleged lurid indiscretions? Won't these follow her children around for the rest of their lives?

Point: She claims to have found pictures of her husband and former nanny having sex.
Counterpoint: He denies having an affair with the nanny. Clearly the couple believes there are two entirely different stories. It's becoming quite clear we haven't heard the whole story.

This is from the General Manager of WKRN:

Rumors swirled around the reason for her departure until this morning when Evans' Complaint For Divorce surfaced. The document which is a public record chronicles Evans’ reasons for the divorce which include pornography and adultery. An exhibit was also attached which is graphic in nature.

The dilemma for us in this new digital age is how much of this material do you use. We've had an internal debate throughout the building about what is and is not appropriate to put on our websites. Originally we edited out social security numbers of Evans and her husband plus those of her three children as well as the children’s dates of birth for obvious reasons. There were at least two or three references to the children in the body of the complaint as well as the family's Nashville address that were left in and have since been removed as well. The exhibit that follows the complaint is very graphic and has offended some. It is part of the complaint and very germane to the story and that is why we have included it.

Sara Evans was considered the squeaky clean contestant. A stalwart of family values. Couple that with accusations of pornography and adultery and you have the
ingredients of a huge story the will be the lead of celebrity magazines, tabloids and even local newscasts for days to come.

I could sit here and criticize the media for having a field day with this story. That would be hypocritical, though. As soon as I heard it was on Brad's website, I was one of the first to go right to the document out of curiosity--about something that is none of my business place in the first place.

Human nature...ugh.


Jodi said...

Sounds like things are getting "media ugly" in the Music City!!

It's been on the television up here in Michigan... and of course, full coverage on Entertainment Tonight!

I still think private lives should remain private. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out... and of course, with the media, we shouldn't miss a beat!

H. Mc. said...

She has to make it "Big News" in Nashville, because she's not that WELL KNOWN in other Cities! She might WANT to be, but I don't think so!!! OH yes, she's making it on all the Entertainment "Gossip shows", but only because of "Dancing with the Stars!" She might have to write a Book to get a little "MORE well known" than what she is!

"SORRY, Sara"

Adam S. said...

Never feel sorry for a Multi-talented, Multi-platinum Recording Artist. Extremely well known!

Anonymous said...

WOO HOO, such multiness! Maybe the Personality, too? Huh?