Oh, celebrities—why do you torture us with vague responses to rumors about you without actually answering any questions we have? Over the weekend, Ashton Kutcher posted a video where he rambled about “the bastardizing of truth,” using examples from kabbalah teachings. But really it was just a way for him to go after blogs and social media, especially since everyone has been wondering whether his marriage to Demi Moore is over lately.
The way Ashton explains it, during the time in which this kabbalah anecdote is from, it was a lot more difficult for religious teachings to go from just being written to being actually published and distributed. “Because publishers had a limited amount of inventory,” he says, “they held great scrutiny over what they would be able to print. They were the gatekeepers of the truth. If something came in and it seemed as if it weren’t the truth, then they wouldn’t print it because their reputation was on the line.”
But since there’s almost no cost to churn out blog posts, anyone can write anything, and it doesn’t have to be the truth. It’s a pretty damning thing to say about the Internet, but not the first time we’ve heard such criticism. When I tell people that I’m a professional blogger, I definitely get skepticism about how “anyone can blog” and how do I know if I’m telling the truth or playing some worldwide game of Telephone.
The truth is, we don’t always know. We and other blogs do report on gossip and rumor and “inside sources,” but eventually we piece the stories together, even if we have to go down a few dead-end routes to get there.
The media is in a weird place when it comes to situations like Ashton and Demi’s. Obviously we’re going to comment on it because their relationship has been so public for so long. And the pair have been so active in sharing their courtship that when there are strains at public events or Twitter unfollows, things look increasingly off. But if they want the facts reported correctly, then the only way they’re going to get that is to come forward and explain exactly what’s going on: Are they in an open marriage? Did he cheat? Of course, that obligation is an even greater invasion on their privacy. So, it’s a catch-22.
Ashton leaves us with this saying: “A lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth leaves someone’s lips.” Of course, he could save everyone a bunch of time and energy by releasing that truth… now.
No? OK then, we’ll just be here waiting.