The Deaths of Chris Cornell & Roger Ailes


I got one alert this morning when Chris Cornell of legendary grunge rock band Soundgarden was found dead -- just the one. I got four when Roger Ailes, the embattled former head of Fox News died. 

Am I the only person who thinks the math is backwards here?

Roger Ailes started Fox News, but he was not the kind of person I'd want to know. Most women would probably want to know him even less. He finally had to leave his job due to sexual harassment allegations and a particularly damning lawsuit from former Fox & Friends anchor Gretchen Carlson. You get the idea that he believed women existed for his benefit -- to ogle, to make lewd comments, to ask for sexual favors. 

Chris Cornell was a groundbreaking artist and incredible lead vocalist for Soundgarden. He certainly had his demons, and it may have been those demons that he finally succumbed to. Detroit's medical examiner confirms the cause of death as suicide. Cornell was a pioneer of the Seattle grunge music scene, and while he lived longer than another legend of that time (Nirvana's Kurt Cobain), he was still taken from us far too young. 

I suppose Roger Ailes was also a pioneer. He created Fox News and made it into one of the top news sources in America, beloved by the right and hated by the left. Before Fox News, there were no large mainstream news sources that were openly partisanIt was groundbreaking and deserves recognition, for better or worse. And I suppose that partisanship accounts for the differing views on his death. Sean Hannity is calling Roger Ailes a "patriotic warrior." Many on the left are celebrating, which is simply poor taste.    

There's no good reason to celebrate anyone's death. But neither is there any reason to praise Roger Ailes profusely, to make him more than he was. Call me selfish, but I'd just rather see more press on Chris Cornell and less on Roger Ailes. 

Maybe it's none too wise to judge the perceived importance of a person by the number of media outlets that feel a person's death is worthy of a precious news alert. Roger Ailes was famous among newspeople, because he was a prominent person in the news media. But if not for the Gretchen Carlson controversy, he may never have been a household name. 

Chris Cornell was famous among people who listen to grunge, and maybe others who remember some of his band's hits in the 90s -- Black Hole Sun, Fell On Black Days, Spoonman. Maybe never a household name either, but a giant among his peers, and fans. 

I haven't listened to Soundgarden in a very long time, but today I broke out the one CD of theirs I have and listened at full volume. No, it's not for everyone. But I liked the band for a time and can tell you honestly that Chris Cornell was one of the best vocalists of his era. For me at least, It's a sad day. 



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