Sean Parker: Wedding Day Backlash Reflects New Media Low

We all saw the headlines, read the angry Facebook posts and perhaps even re-tweeted a mocking Tweet. After a wedding day celebration with Alexandra, the bride and husband Sean Parker were crucified by the media for allegedly crossing the line of environmental decency with a massive staging area next to the Ventana Inn in Big Sur.

Not so fast, Parker writes today on TechCrunch. In a sadly ironic twist, he says this special personal time was ruined by 100% wrong media coverage and the same populist power of the Internet he once exploited for Napster purposes:

We awoke that [Monday] morning to a media backlash of epic proportions, a firestorm of press attacking our wedding with the most vitriolic language we’d ever seen in print. At the same time, a mob of Internet trolls, eco-zealots and other angry folk from every corner of the Internet unleashed a fury of vulgar insults, flooding our email and Facebook pages.

These reactions were so extreme, so maniacal, so deeply drenched in expletives, they seemed wasted on us; this was the sort of angry invective normally reserved for genocidal dictators. Some of them were so over-the-top that, had the circumstances been different, we might have found them amusing. Of course, it’s hard to find anything amusing when strangers are publicly attacking your wife two days into your marriage.

Parker zeros in on Alexis Madrigal of The Atlantic as he sets the record straight, noting that at least this journalist showed the courtesy of returning his email and later apologizing for the inaccurate coverage. As Parker frames it: “Truth has a funny way of getting in the way of a great story.”

There is a tremendous amount of damning detail in Parker’s must-read itemization of the steps taken by he, Alexandra and others to make sure the location they used for the wedding was left in better shape than when they found it. One of the passages that resonated most with FishbowlNY is Parker noting that, “If only the media had read the documents, perhaps this public crucifixion would have abated.”

That observation sadly speaks to the furious Web journalism rush that erupts when a story like this breaks. As is also usually the case with celebrity court cases, almost no reporter is willing to do the PDF heavy lifting. How many of these same journalists, we wonder, will take the time to actually read Parker’s TechCrunch piece, which clocks in at just under 10,000 words.

[Photo: Helga Esteb/]

@hollywoodspin Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.
Publish date: June 27, 2013 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT