Update: Well, well. There’s now a donation site for the family with the goal of raising $20,000.
Here’s my pitch for a reality show:
A dad who’s a professional Elvis impersonator, and a mom with multiple sclerosis and a degree in “entertainment administration,” are raising two boys with autism, ages 16 and 13.
The high-functioning boy, Jackson, who looks a little like Justin Bieber and a little like Harry Styles, is an aspiring pop star who sometimes performs with his father, James. (Check out this “Agent Friendly Promo.”) Jackson’s stage name is “Jackson X” (see his website here).
The other boy, Max, 13, was the subject of an disgusting, outrageously cruel, anonymous hate letter to his grandmother that went viral after his mother posted it on her public Facebook page. After it was internationally publicized, their neighbors rallied around the family and condemned the anonymous evildoer.
The merits of the letter’s pro-autistic-boy-euthanization argument were the subject of contentious debate … nowhere. Shockingly, there was a unanimous thumbs-down from media reports and its many Facebook sharers. And strangers are offering the family gifts, as often happens after this type of story.
The letter has gone on to make international headlines and the family has received offers of help from across the country, including a charity in Montreal that contacted Millson to say they had received offers from people wanting to help the family pay their bills, buy gift certificates, or send them on an excursion.
“I suggested that Max would just love Canada’s Wonderland,” said Millson who hadn’t yet spoken to the family about the offer. “He’d go every day if you could take him.”
My experience with stories is this: If there’s no other side to a story, it’s probably not a real story. Anything that Perez Hilton and Glenn Beck agree about should be presumed brown and stinky until proven otherwise. And if the ultrasympathetic story comes from people who have been trying to promote themselves in other ways, watch out.