With former first daughter Chelsea Clinton's Sunday wedding fast approaching, news organizations are desperately competing for details on an event the Clinton family wants to keep private. Even with scant information, coverage of what the New York Daily News boldly calls the "wedding of the millennium" has dominated much of the U.S. media in recent days. Why is everyone so invested in Chelsea's big day?
It sells newspapers: Even news junkies have to admit this is "kinda creepy," says Howard Kurtz in The Washington Post. Chelsea Clinton may be a former-president's daughter, but in the decade since leaving the White House she has made it abundantly clear she "wants her privacy." The message from the media is, "Tough luck, sweetie." After all, media conglomerates have "newspapers to sell and TV programs to promote."
"Chasing Chelsea: Our wedding bell blues"
It's the politics, stupid: This media "blowout" goes way beyond America's usual fascination with first-family weddings, says Michael Wolff at Newser. And Chelsea's personality doesn't explain it — a silent, investment-banker type, she's the picture of "yuppie blandness." No, "the motor here is politics." Bill and Hillary Clinton "remain at the heart of the Democratic Party," and this bash is their chance to showcase their version of Camelot.
"Honk if you just can't get enough of Chelsea and Marc"
This is just sexism run wild: The "hyperventilation" over Chelsea Clinton's wedding, or any woman's wedding, for that matter, is just plain sexist, says Rebecca Traister in Salon. Apparently, we're stuck on the notion that a woman's wedding day is the most important day of her life, the one that defines her success as a human being — as if Chelsea's degrees from Stanford and Oxford, and her professional success, mean nothing at all.
"Chelsea Clinton's big fat leaked wedding"
America needs this: "Virtually everyone in America loathes either George W. Bush or Bill and Hillary," says Gail Collins in The New York Times. "Yet every sensible person, no matter what political stripe, would have to admit that both families produced really good kids." It's good for us all to take a moment and ponder how this country can produce "such nice young adults out of such a lunatic political environment." Chelsea, an unwilling celebrity since age 12, deserves her day — but the rest of us need it, too.
"The kids are all right"
It's Chelsea's fault: "Come on, now," says Chris Rovzar at New York magazine. "The reason the details of Chelsea Clinton's wedding have become such a big deal is simple: They are a secret." America was interested in Jenna Bush's wedding too, but she said up front that it would be held at her parents' ranch in Crawford, TX, and that was that. Chelsea "pushed America's collective secret button," and now she's paying for it.
"Could all this madness about Chelsea Clinton's secret wedding have been avoided?"
We want famous people to tell us how to live: "Does it say something horrible about us that we desperately desire to see Chelsea's wedding?" asks Macy Halford in The New Yorker. "I don't think so." For better or worse, Americans look to celebrities to show us "how to navigate our material and social worlds." And weddings are about as complicated a ritual as we've got. So please, Chelsea, show us how it's done.
"Chelsea getting married"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- The real story behind Deliver Us From Evil
- Sorry, we will not all be having sex with robots in the future
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
Why is Obama still smoking?
- Beware of Splenda: The backlash against artificial sugars
- Stop making fun of philosophy and read some philosophy
- 13 Urban Outfitters controversies
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- How to live a long life, according to science
Subscribe to the Week