The art of cashing in on misery is a tale as old as time. This Schadenfreude attitude has always been a deciding factor in any celebrity’s death. (It’s not about how you died or when you died, but rather how much money can be made from your disjointed legacy.)
Death really is a lucrative business.
Yesterday, this became even more evident when Courtland Rogers released “an elaborate story” for Radar Online about his friendship with Buckwild’s Shain Gandee. Several hours after the news broke of Gandee’s death, Rogers revealed in an exclusive interview that the two of them were friends. This coincidental revelation forced fans to question the veracity of the tale, especially since Rogers never mentioned “knowing [Gandee] before” his death. Rogers defended his actions when he tweeted late yesterday, “Jenelle [Evans] told Radar about that. I didn’t but it wasn’t a lie, you dumba**es. Damn, have some f**king respect. I didn’t sell sh*t, you dummies.”
The fact that Rogers released this fictitious tale before Gandee’s family even had the opportunity to comment on it, acts as concrete proof that Rogers wanted to jump on the bandwagon as soon as possible. The defensive shifting of blame not only made him look like a pathological liar, but it also cast serious doubt on his claims.
The proverbial “fifteen minutes of fame” is an addictive experience for reality television characters. The good ones rise to the top and build successful careers for themselves, while the bad ones wait in the shadows and concoct deceitful plans. Rogers, one of the more successful reality television personalities, has VIP membership for the latter. His infamous connection to Radar Online, his lack of authenticity, and his rabid addiction to fame are text book qualities of a reality television fatality.
His latest party trick, however, only serves as a disturbing reminder of just how important the spotlight really is.