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BLOG: Sean Parker spent $5M on his wedding and all he got was a heap of Internet shaming

Robert X. Cringely | July 1, 2013
Can't a guy catch a break for his tacky, wasteful, Tolkien-tinged nuptials? The Facebook billionaire pleads his case

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.

Poor Sean Parker. Like Pol Pot and Augusto Pinochet, he just can't get no respect.

If you can get past the florid prose and abuse of quotation marks, Parker makes a good case that the media reports were a bit extreme. But he also misses the mark. For example, he claims his wedding caused no environmental damage to the forest at all, a point Gawker's Sam Biddle vociferously disputes, quoting at length from the Commission's post-ceremony environmental impact report.

He also offers a "slightly embarrassing confession" that his wife and he are "huge nerds," then goes on to bemoan the current state of Web journalism:

Rather than basing their reporting on primary source material, the online tabloid press just piled onto the story, sourcing each other, and churning out increasingly sensational and exaggerated headlines as fast as they could type them. ... Hundreds of reporters called exactly zero sources, asked exactly zero questions, did exactly zero research, and even managed to ignore the information contained in readily available public documents. In the fast-and-loose world of "blogging for dollars," it probably feels like a waste of time to do original reporting when writing snarky stories with a paucity of facts is a more efficient way to generate traffic. Regardless, it was astonishing to see this volume of inaccurate, derivative stories written without any concern for fact checking or sourcing.

Who's feeding the media monster?
Gee Sean, welcome to the Webbernets circa 2013, glad you could jon us. I guess you must be feeling kind of like those record companies felt back in 1999 when Napster allowed users to swap their music without contacting them first, eh? Disintermediation is a bitch.

Memo to Mr. Parker: When you can afford to hire the costume designer for the "Lord of the Rings" film trilogy to help design your wedding, and the top elected officials in the state are on the guest list, and you blithely ignore the rules set up for the rest of us so that you can achieve your fantasies, and buy your way out of it later, you're probably going to get a bit of blowback. When you call upon your pals at a tech blog to let you whine about it for 9,500 words, referring to yourself as a "rich guy" in quotation marks like you're the member of an oppressed minority, you're probably going to get some more.

And when you lecture us all, at great length, about the history of journalism and its current disintegrating state, aided and abetted by the sins of the social media monster you helped create, because your very public and rather farcical wedding wasn't treated as "sacred," well ... you can fill in the rest.


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