Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Don't Speak Before You Have All Of The Facts

Sounds like I'm about to make a commentary on the Trayvon-Zimmerman conspiracy, right? Wrong! I am going to talk about Cher.

Why am I talking about Cher instead of politics? Because it is a good example of "rush to judgment" by the press and political figures without having to be controversial. It shows how the press and political figures have political diarrhea of the mouth. It shows lack of vetting of a story.

The issue is that "the Key to the City" of Adelaide, Australia went up for auction on Ebay on April 18th at 14:00:51 PDT. Cher received the key in 1990 and has had it for 22 years.

On April 21st we get the story[1][2] about this auction and that Australians are angered by this.

The press gave us a quote from Stephen Yarwood, the mayor of Adelaide :
It must be very embarrassing for her if she is selling it because she needs the money.
We also got a quote from the former mayor that gave her the key, Steve Condous :
I'm disappointed. I would have thought that getting the key to a city like Adelaide would have had some value to her, but obviously it doesn't because she wouldn't have got rid of it.
Story does not have any comments from Cher, Cher's consignor that runs the auction, or mentions that neither could be reached for comment. That's funny because the Ebay auction page has a questions section. There are no question before April 22nd in that section.

After this story breaks the auction page is updated. This is added to the auction's description:
On Apr-21-12 at 16:19:58 PDT, seller added the following information:

Cher has a Charitable Foundation.

Proceeds of items sold go towards charitable endeavors.
The next day we get another update on the description:
On Apr-22-12 at 11:43:00 PDT, seller added the following information:

I have many questions as to why Cher is auctioning this item... in answer to this question:

Cher receives many awards and gifts from all over the world. And she is always humbled and touched by these gracious gestures. At certain times she goes through her huge collection and decides to share many of these special treasures with her fans, with all the proceeds going to Cher’s Charitable Foundation. Please know that the proceeds for this auction and everything on Authentic_Cher are helping people all over the world through Cher’s charitable and humanitarian endeavors. I think the city of Adelaide should be proud of what this plaque & key are doing for those in need or suffering. Cher is incredible, kind and generous and in no way meant to slight the people of Adelaide. Thank you for your understanding. Sincerest regards, Linda, Authentic_Cher
In the questions section for the auction, in response to one of the questions we find out this is not the first key to go up for auction, but the first to stir up controversy.

Next, on April 23rd, Cher tweets about the auction:
Im upset 2& trying 2get2 bottom! I Think my office fkd up?RT @bettyann329 key 2 Adelaide on Ebay upsetting the peeps in Aussie esp the Mayor
The Huffington Post has an update on April 24th in which they mention that the money goes to charity. In turn we have an updated quote from Condous on this fact :
It's our key, so I believe the money should come back here.
Can you see what has happened? Everyone is on the defensive or offensive front. Can you see the orchestration by the press?

I can not say a bad thing about Cher or the mayors. I see no evidence that the press tried to talk to Cher or her consignor. They only mention her tweet. I also can't help but feel that the quotes from the mayors are cherry picked. I wonder if there is a more full interview, or if they were commenting on a "fact" thrown to them by the press.

This is not a controversy. The key was given to her. It is hers and no one else's. She held on to it for over 20 years. She could toss it in the trash and no one would be any the wiser. Instead she is using it to raise money for charity. The item went for $95,900. Good for her.

The press just loves to tear people down for the hell of it. They are lazy sick bastards that can't seem to do their job correctly anymore.

Cher has done no wrong.

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