Friday, January 01, 2010

Brown-Eyed Hoax



This article is dedicated to Courtney Herrell, who is proud to be a Brown-Eyed Girl.

It is not often that I have to completely side with a celebrity over reporters, but this is one of those few situations. Normally I feel that celebrities choose to be famous so should not complain when their personal lives become public news, but in this situation, the personal life of Van Morrison became fake news. Van Morrison did not deserve for this to happen.

It was reported on the website of Van Morrison, who is known for songs like Brown-Eyed Girl, that the 64-year-old singer had recently become the father to a newborn baby. I was surprised to read this and felt that this was another situation of an old-male celebrity who had a baby that he will probably not see graduate from high school. But in this situation, it turned out that a hacker had posted the news of the newborn on Van Morrison’s own website.

I do not blame the media for following this story because it is usually safe to assume that what a celebrity has posted on his or her personal website is true. Celebrities use their websites, Twitter, and Facebook to directly reach out to their fans. Sometimes we can assume that the celebrity has someone posting the updates for them, but we should never have to assume that the websites have been hacked.

Some people may feel that a hoax like this can be easily dealt with, but it would be difficult for a celebrity to have to take charge of correcting the hoax. Van Morrison probably received congratulations from friends and relatives. He may have had to call each of his children who had heard through the grapevine that they had another sibling, just to tell them that this was false. Imagine if you lived far from your parents, and then heard that one of them had another child, without you ever being informed that a child was on the way? Then you may feel the excitement of knowing that you have another brother or sister. Then you find out that the story was false. It is possible that a lot of people were hurt by this hoax.

There is no moral to this situation. Van Morrison was a victim. I hope that a situation like this does not discourage other celebrities from using websites, Twitter, and Facebook to reach out to their fans, because direct communication is usually the most honest way to hear news about celebrities.

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