I wasn’t that familiar with Garry Shandling’s work. He seemed like a nice enough guy, though.
That said, I’ll try to keep the rest of this post brief, while recognizing everything that’s important at the moment.
This morning, a teaser appeared on an entertainment site home page about the 911 call made by Mr. Shandling when he realized he was ill. It suggested he had lost consciousness while talking to a dispatcher.
I didn’t click to read the story.
Yesterday, it was a foregone conclusion that a 911 call reporting Mr. Shandling’s emergency was made by someone because the L.A.P.D. confirmed his passing.
Although California treats death certificates as public records, not all 911 recordings are public. That’s left up to the discretion of agencies which own the recordings.
Sometimes it’s in the public interest to release a 911 recording or report on the content of a 911 call. However, the public does not have a compelling reason to know the details of a medical emergency call, especially when the emergency is unrelated to criminal wrongdoing. In that regard, celebrities are no different from the rest of us. They get sick, and sometimes they have to ask someone for help during a private moment.
Maybe the teaser I saw on the entertainment site page was made up. Maybe not. However, I do know that if I’m ever in a similar situation I don’t want my private moments made public. Not unless there’s a reason other than “public curiosity.”
Whether or not the details of this one particular 911 call to L.A.P.D. has anything to appeal to the National Enquirer crowd, it’s unlikely we need to hear any of it. Entertainers are public figures, but they’re also private individuals. They have the same basic right as the rest of us to be protected from voyeurism.
Regardless of how you feel about Mr. Shandling’s passing, this is a good time to make a statement which helps to define your own character. Refuse to click any stories which look as if they invade his privacy. Do the same with sensational reports about the terror attack victims in Brussels. Heck, boycott any crap story.