Breaking News! Enough about Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen and their divorce

I just went to a major news site and the banner headline screamed:

“Breaking News – It’s over. Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen are reportedly filing for divorce today after 13 years of marriage.

Under the breathless caption ran a montage of photos of the pair over the years.

This “breaking news” article was given dramatically more prominence than other genuine breaking news reports, such as:

  • Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband is attacked with a hammer in a home invasion;

  • The UK political and economic meltdown which could be a harbinger of worse news to come;

  • The ongoing tragedy of the war in Ukraine; Inflation and rising energy costs are forcing working and middle-class Americans to forego basic necessities;

  • Rising crime rates in the United States.

Some may excuse the headline by arguing that it has just become “official,” giving it major headline status. no Such a response would be insincere at best.

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The Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen saga has been hitting virtually every news site in the nation – and the world – for the past few weeks. Almost everything was filled with speculation about facts.

Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen chat after Brady's Patriots lost to the New York Giants in Super Bowl 46 in Indianapolis in 2012.

Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen chat after Brady’s Patriots lost to the New York Giants in Super Bowl 46 in Indianapolis in 2012.

One of the main reasons for this is that the personal pain the couple is experiencing has proven to be a huge click-bait producer. “Clicks” for digital news sites that ultimately equate to advertising dollars.

Public figures pay a price, and that doesn’t include privacy

Referring to the lives of Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen, put under the most powerful lens of a microscope exposed to the harshest, most blinding light, others might be tempted to say, “Well, they’re public figures, so is this is the price they pay. ”

To a certain extent that may be true. But if that’s the metric to use, then at what point do decency and compassion come into play? When do media managers say “enough is enough?”

Brady, arguably the NFL’s greatest player, and supermodel Bundchen are public figures. But they are also people with feelings. A man and woman who presumably got married in the belief that it would last for the rest of their lives.

Now, whether “He said, she said” of anything, that expectation, hope, and dream has come upon them both.

And when such a crash happens, the waves of pain quickly spread to mutual children, parents, siblings, and friends.

Imagine if you were the children of Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen or the son he shares with Bridget Moynahan. How do they deal with this glaring bombardment of their parents’ or father’s private marital problems? What cruel remarks are being made to these children by others on social media or in person?

These children, along with the parents and siblings they love, become emotional collateral damage thanks to the indiscriminate, blistering spotlight that shines on the “power couple.” Does anyone really factor that into the banner headline equation?

While this NFL season has been miserable for Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Brady – up to this point compared to the rest of his career – many in the sports world have commented that “Brady looks sick” or that “Brady is sick like that lost a lot of weight” or “Brady looks like all the joy has gone out of his life.”

Phew, I wonder why.

Most divorces happen in relative privacy, but they still take a mental toll

For those unfortunate enough to go through a breakup or divorce, 99.9% will do so in relative privacy. Still, anyone who’s been through one will tell you that the mental and even physical strain can be punishing and takes months or even years to overcome.

Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen have been stripped of their right to privacy. Others consider them unjustified.

Now they must not only confront a traumatic personal issue, but experience it as unwilling participants forced into a media machine that seemingly has no interest in the pain, confusion, despair, and grieving process the couple must go through .

At some point, even “power couples,” “public figures,” and “celebrities” are entitled to privacy, common decency, and compassion.

Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen have reached that point.

Douglas MacKinnon is a former White House and Pentagon official and the author of The 56 – Liberty Lessons from these who risked all to sign The Declaration of Independence.

This article originally appeared in the Palm Beach Post: Column: Enough with Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen’s divorce

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