I understand all the backlash for LeAnn Rimes and her homewrecking ways. But what I don't understand is how other actors do the same exact thing, and there is far less anger. Why?
—Jen, via the inbox
You speak of other extramarital artists such as Tori Spelling and La Jolie. Rimes has suffered a seeming barrage of criticism over her admitted affair with Eddie Cibrian, most recently from readers of Shape magazine.
The lazy explanation for this bile would have something to do with Rimes' God-fearin', prayer-circlin' country music audience. But it's also the wrong explanation:
Because, actually, there hasn't really been a backlash. Not when you look at the numbers.
Most of the vitriol against Rimes came from Shape magazine readers, after she sucked it in for that magazine's cover. Readers complained about the cover being given to a homewrecker; the editor of the magazine apologized, and then didn't.
But as CMT.com writer Alison Bonaguro points out to me:
"I don't know that there has been that much backlash. With Shape, it was 40 readers complaining out of 6 million readers."
In other words, it was about .007 percent of all the people who, for some reason, read Shape magazine.
What does that mean?
"I think maybe Rimes haters," says Bonaguro, "or people who are critical of her, are more outspoken."
Right. They're louder, but that's about it.
So why did anyone complain about Rimes at all?
Well, there may be a whole lot of trailer hoppin' out here in the City of Sin, but in the country music industry, breakups and divorces are still considered relatively bizarre and strange—scandalous news, in other words.
"At this moment," Bonaguro dishes, "the three stories that are leading in popularity for CMT.com are Billy Ray Cyrus's divorce, Randy Travis's divorce and then the Rimes scandal—not that Keith Urban had a new album or Taylor Swift sold more than a million."
Yes. Taylor Swift is now in the elite company of Garth Brooks.
Not that anyone, it seems, cares.