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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Post hoc, ergo....

This morning, the TODAY Show (don't ask me why it was on, I loathe the morning shows) did a story about a chef in a New York City area restaurant who killed himself by jumping from the George Washington Bridge. It turns out that three years ago, this fellow came in for some pretty harsh criticism via Gordon Ramsay on the Kitchen Nightmares show. So of course, TODAY's segment focused almost entirely on the Ramsay angle, highlighting the fact that a contestant on Hell's Kitchen also killed herself after her appearance on that show. (Here's a CBS story with details.)

Now, the TODAY segment didn't come right out and imply that Ramsay's harsh criticism was a factor in the suicides, but it didn't really highlight any other thoughts about what might have driven these two people (of hundreds that Ramsay has interacted with on his shows) to suicide. So, did Ramsay's tough words and rants play a role? I'm inclined to doubt it. Take it from someone who knows: the restaurant industry is not exactly a biz where you'll find lots of well-adjusted folks working in low-stress environments.

Come to that, I wonder what the suicide rate is for restaurant workers, anyway. We only heard about these two by virtue of their connection with one of the most famous of all celebrity chefs, after all.


M. D. Jackson said...

Yeah, I'm really sure that this guy stewed about what Gordon Ramsay said about him for THREE YEARS before deciding to end it all.

Because, well, a depressed chef in New York who kills himself for any other reason isn't, you know, news. Can't sell papers with that kind of mundanity.

I work at a newspaper and this kind of shameful, shoddy reporting happens all the time, even (especially) at respected newspapers, much to my dismay.

Quince said...

Up until a few hours ago I would have responded "no sympathy for hangovers or suicides". Then I read the story about the other GW bridge jumper ...compelled by humiliation it seems like a push rather than a jump. A muscian nonetheless. A life ended by hate. Well his death touched me so maybe it wasnt all in vain.

Jaquandor said...

the other GW bridge jumper


Quince said...

Here is a link to the story :

Jaquandor said...

I just saw that on the news this morning. That story made me want to throw up. That kid's roommate should be charged with a lot more than just invasion of privacy.