By now you probably have heard about Jackass star, Ryan Dunn’s tragic death at the wheel of his Porsche 911 in the early hours of Monday morning. My friend Mike Bryant posted an article this morning with updates on that sad event.
Now a new controversy has emerged regarding the Dunn crash. I follow Roger Ebert on Twitter and I knew a storm was brewing the moment I saw this:
Sure enough. TMZ was among the first to chime in, "[o]bviously, Ebert has a point — but we gotta ask …" That seems to be the most common response among those I spoke with. Others take more extreme positions, however, with folks throughout cyberdom lining up to villify or register approval with Ebert’s tweet.
At one point, Facebook went so far as to take down Ebert’s page.
For their part, a Facebook spokesperson had this to say, “The page was removed in error. We apologize for the inconvenience.”
The Roger Ebert controversy raises a difficult question. The tragic death of a celebrity in an accident that may involve excessive speed and driving after drinking provides an opportunity to draw attention to those perils — perhaps saving lives. However, that very publicity can be painful to the loved ones of the deceased. I’m interested in what you think? Please leave a comment with your views on the subject.
UPDATE: We now know Dunn’s BAC (blood alcohol count) was well over twice the legal limit. Also, a police accident reconstruction team puts his speed prior to the crash at 132 to 140 mph. Do these facts change the way you view Roger Ebert’s post? Why or why not?