The three ring circus of scandal, conjecture and hype surrounding celebrity break ups is probably the lowest of the media's many ways of lowering itself into the gutter. The more intense or heated the split and it's messy details become, the more salacious the reporting. Take the flurry of reports detailing all the rumor and speculation surrounding the affairs and break up of Kristen Stewart and her former fiance, Robert Pattinson. Whatever they do is breaking news, now that she's notorious and he's the tragic victim. Pattinson goes on the Daily Show and gives them their best ratings ever and Kristen's upcoming appearance at the Toronto film festival is being anticipated like Oswald's perp walk.
I'm not going to condemn philanderers or exalt the faithful. Placed in the right circumstances, any one of us could quite easily find ourselves in the same situation as these people. But that kind of rational response doesn't sell magazines or draw visitors to your site. The media wants to see people take sides in something that should be a private issue. Stewart and her lover are being characterized as Judases and victimized Pattinson made the new sparkly vampire Christ. All resulting from the testimony of the notoriously unreliable word of "insiders," whose unconfirmed reports are treated like facts. Is this really worth becoming the focus of a fully armed and operational internet media battle station? Why isn't this being lost amidst all the much more important issues we face?
It's not like celebrity extracurricular activity is anything new. Folks have been messing around in Hollywood since the beginning. Stars, movie makers and other industry types intermingle with one another like rain drops in a puddle. They actually get paid for it. Some of the most legendary couplings in Hollywood history have come out of this kind of backdoor dealing. Can you really blame them? You got the most beautiful people in the world doing love scenes with each other, spending hours together on set, sharing emotional exchanges full of vulnerability and intense emotion. It would be strange if shit didn't go down in those kinds of circumstances. Then again, some celebs are just inclined to move from person to person, basically because they can get away with it.
Clearly there are other factors involved in this particular scandal to take it from just another Hollywood infidelity to the scourge of humanity. I will say that at least some of this, Stewart brought on herself, thanks to a rather remarkable display of indiscretion. In a world where one's deeds can go from private to worldwide in seconds, her perplexing choice to literally do it in the road, in full view of a number of paparazzi, was both stupid and rather unprecedented, as far as celebrity trysts go. Most celebs seem to have at least some understanding of the need for secrecy in their sideline dealings. Another rather stupid thing she's done to inflame this is her appalling lack of tact in using Twitter, of all things, to issue an apology to her fiance, in defiance of their oft stated desire for privacy. So basically, she's guilty of being really bad at fooling around and also fairly inept in her attempts to smooth things over. Does that make her deserving of a public lynching? I don't think so.
Probably the most important factor in this is the hype churned up amidst the court of public opinion is the discontent of twihards. The frenzied outrage this indiscretion prompted from the massive TWILIGHT fanbase was something akin to Christian fundamentalists letting out of a passion play, and is a big reason the story gets as much play in the press as it does. Suddenly every "twihard" in the world has their pitchforks and torches at the ready, waiting for the next tidbit of info, which the media quite readily hands out to them. You got millions of screaming schoolgirls and housewives, all living in their little Bella and Edward fantasy world, suddenly brought crashing back down to Earth and the realization that their blood sucking romantic leads are actually flawed human beings. Or worse, twihards holding to their fantasies by twisting reality and fantasy into one, channeling their jealousy of Bella into their anger over what the actress who plays her has done.
So this what's so important? Ravenous packs of tabloid "journalists" smelling blood in the water, a not-so-smart kid who got caught with her hand in the cookie jar, and a lunatic fanbase looking for payback. This is why the next few months lead up to the next TWILIGHT movie premiere are going to be chock full of Stewart/Pattinson drama? Are they gonna have Obama and Romney debate the issue? Should we preempt breaking news from Syria when these two attend the premiere? Because a couple of famous kids, who had no chance of becoming lifelong partners anyway, gave in to their sex drive and got their hearts broken. Utter nonsense, better suited to middle school rumor mills than national media attention. But, hopefully you can learn to get something out of such schoolyard gossip, because we're probably going to get a lot more like it in years to come.