When damage control is a sham

2010-04-16 13:29

THE problem with being a public figure is that those who are not meticulous about maintaining a positive image inevitably court negative publicity.

This is what came to mind when I read a news piece where JubJub broke his silence about what he calls the “unfortunate” events of March 8, when four kids were killed and two critically injured after the hip-hop star and his friend crashed into them.

Speaking through a Sunday tabloid, Jub Jub says he sends his “condolences” to the “affected” families.

The story uses words like “gingerly, incomplete, traumatised” and tells of the “pain” that was apparently written all over his face during the interview.

Maybe it is true. Maybe he does regret what he calls “the tragic events” of that Monday ­afternoon.

However, I have serious problems believing that Jub Jub is concerned about anything other than being found innocent of his murder and attempted murder charges.

My struggle to believe him stems from what the hip-hop sham has not done. And that is take responsibility, starting with an overdue apology to the six families – not through the media, but personally.

Instead, he blames the media for the “publicity” he says “made it impossible for me and my family to interact with the ­affected families”.

This statement reminds me of his alleged initial reaction when he demanded he not be touched as he has a lawyer.

Saying this with four lifeless bodies at his feet smacks of arrogance. It is almost as if he believes being a celebrity exempts him from being responsible.

Maybe it was the morphine and cocaine he tested positive for. Perhaps he has sobered up and the weight of what he has done is finally sinking in.

Yet I cannot help but think that opening up through page 3 is a publicity stunt orchestrated as damage control.

I wonder what he thinks is currently stopping him from interacting with the families, now that the media flurry following the accident has subsided.

We, the public, are not ones who lost family on that day. So why is Jub Jub talking to us ­instead of the families his ­actions shattered?

How remorseful is he passing the buck to the media attention every celebrity and public ­figure knows is their lot?

I wonder who and what is ­fooling Jub Jub into pretending that the media is blowing out of proportion the “events” resulting in something as devastatingly final as death.

Those families deserve much more than JubJub taking a swipe at the reporters he loved when they were elevating his public profile.

Until then, best he keeps mum. It is more dignified than damage control masquerading as a half-baked apology.

Being a celebrity comes with perks. It also comes with the ­burden that us mere mortals do not have to bear. This burden of being watched should have served as a deterrent.

Instead, he courted attention by drag racing. He flirted with danger. And unfortunately for him, people died because of his actions. Still, the most he can do is blame journalists for negative publicity?

How pitiful.

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