Suppose Twitter, YouTube, TMZ and so forth had been around in the seventies, eighties, and early nineties. How would certain celebrities have fared if their crises had played out on the internet? I’ll start:
Elvis. Might not have died when he did. His crew wanted to intervene, but didn’t really know how, and it didn’t help that Elvis was so very isolated. Perhaps if video of him looking bloated and dopey was on gossip sites, and someone insisted that he watch, he might have had a moment of clarity. And Red and Sonny West might have started a blog immediately after being dismissed, and that might have been more help than a tell-all book that only came out two weeks before his death.
Shannen Doherty. There was a lot going on in 1993 that we never really got the full story on. I know she married Ashley Hamilton, who was literally brain-damaged (through no fault of his own), very abruptly, and divorced him equally abruptly. I also know that this was after Dean Factor, heir to the Max Factor fortune, broke their engagement. I think what did it was that she hit him, then apologized and promised never to do it again. Until one night when they were in a club, where she thought some other woman was flirting with him. So she punched the other woman, then left with Factor, then hit him again at home, for whatever reason (flirting back, didn’t stand up for her), at which point Factor left and filed a restraining order. That would have been interesting to watch with today’s level of coverage.
Rob Lowe. It was video that brought him down, but I think more exposure might have helped redeem him sooner. He did not rape anyone, you know. He porked a couple of fans, like all his contemporaries did, except he was the one who got on video. And it was the two girls who circulated the video. I think perhaps if the video, even a censored version, had been available for viewing, the OMG SHOCK OUTRAGE might not have been so rabid. Plus, there are more chat shows for someone in his position to appear on in their own defense.
Keith Moon. Would have imploded. He was such an attention junkie, he wouldn’t have scratched his ass without posting about it or making a video. (Then again, more of those hotel-destruction charges might have stuck.)
That’s what I’ve got so far. And heck, you can go further back than the seventies if you like!