Yesterday, famous Canadian columnist Christie Blatchford wrote an article in the National Post about NDP leader Jack Layton's death that has caused a furor on Twitter and in the comment section of the article.
She argued that the outpouring of remorse was a "spectacle" and questioned the sincerity of many public figures and Canadian citizens who have publicly grieved.
I agree with her that the coverage shouldn't have swallowed other newsworthy events. I also agree that the death of a public figure tends to become somewhat of a bandwagon to jump on -- meaning many people show more interest and care in a person's life after he/she dies than when alive.
But I don't think Jack Layton's death was a bandwagon. And I do think much, if not most of the public grief is genuine. Jack Layton was moving in a political direction that many people were passionate about, so they voted for him. Why wouldn't his supporters mourn for him? Why wouldn't news outlets and opposing politicians show their respect? I disagree with Blatchford's suggestion that people have little reason to mourn people they haven't met and that comments on his life, politics and death were over-the-top.
And another thing: the man just died yesterday. Couldn't Blatchford have saved her criticism of his mourners for later?