Runaway. Please Runaway.
Mark Sanders

I am no gossip columnist. In fact I don't have any of the required skills: I'm not really all that interested in searching deeper into a famous person's private life and I have no patience for famous fashion or relationships. That said, it really takes a coordinated and omnipresent media campaign for me to take any note.

There are plenty of celebrities and others in the news who I wish would go away (Brad, Jenn, Angelina, Tom, Katie, Oprah, Lindsay, Paris, etc.) and honestly that list isn't very original. My pick for the biggest (and absolutely least deserving) media hog isn't all that startling either. Everyone please look away from Jennifer Wilbanks, aka the runaway bride.

The fact that I know her name irks me. Even more, I know her media given nickname. She was just an unknown, wide-eyed, spoiled southern girl before a last ditch act of desperation thrust her onto the AP News wire.

I can only imagine the fear and anxiety that runs through a person's mind when they discover a loved one missing. And I'm sure anyone who knows Ms. Wilbanks felt all of those emotions the day she was gone. Just as I think my perspective on lots of issues might change if I experience them firsthand, I can't say that I wouldn't use all of the media I could muster to my disposal to help locate a family member who was lost. But I worry that by elevating my own needs, so many other's are even further buried. As an example, I can't even name one girl or boy who is listed as missing by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children but I know that Ms. Wilbanks and fiance invited over 600 guests to their not-happened nuptials.

Further adding to the absurdity, none of her tales of foul play were true. Instead yet another very private act of desperation landed on the front page. With treatment and the love of family and friends, Ms. Wilbanks would have her head put back together so she could accept the love of her soon-to-be husband.

By my count there were no less than three perfect opportunities for this story to be tactfully removed from public scrutiny. But instead, each week there is a new and tacky rise to the headlines by Ms. Wilbanks and crew. Enough is enough. I don't care anymore about your pre-wedding jitters, the overwhelming scope of the affair, the harrowing bus journey cross country, the acts of deception, the conciliatory gestures or the amends made in her relationship. And as the ultimate litmus test of a media burnout, I hate myself for knowing this much about the ordeal.

Run away, Ms. Wilbanks. Please.