President Bush was slated to unveil a new series of public service announcements to discourage teens from abusing prescription drugs, but the event was quickly scuttled on news of Heath Ledger’s death.
ABC News reports that “his staff realized the questionable circumstances of Ledger’s death might send a mixed message and would be unavoidably linked to, or overshadow, the government’s message.”
Press Secretary Dana Perino told ABC News it would be better to postpone the event “rather than run the risk of anyone thinking that we were being opportunistic in highlighting the issue.”
“Given the tragedy of yesterday’s passing of the beloved actor, ” Perino explained, “we did not want anyone to think we were trying to link into that story in any way.”
Toxicology tests were inconclusive on the cause of Ledger’s death, and more will have to be performed to see if it was drug-related.
Others actually seized on the tragedy. Fox Radio host John Gibson actually mocked Ledger upon his death, even to the point of suggesting that he was a John Edwards supporter distraught with Monday night’s debate.
“Apparently Heath Ledger was suicidal and his friends saw it coming. I think he watched the Clinton-Obama debate last night. I think he was an Edwards guy, cause he saw his Edwards guy was just completely irrelevant.”
Unfortunately, that wasn’t the worst of what Gibson said.