107 Divorce Interestingly, the notion of a sham marriage is not directly articulated by any of the news media outlets reporting on the story at first. The earliest article bringing up the accusation is a piece that ran in late January on CNN.com, which was a secondary report on an appearance by Kim Kardashian on a daytime television talk show. The piece quotes her response to being directly asked about the authenticity of her short-lived marriage: "it doesn't make sense that everyone thinks that...[I]f this was a business decision and I really made all that money that everyone was claiming we made off this wedding and if the wedding was fake and just for TV, I'm a smart business woman, I would've stayed married longer" (CNN.com, 2012, “Kim K: If I married for money, I would have stayed,” para. 4). In fact, most of the news sources ( People and CNN) carried similar stories where Kim Kardashian’s intentions are questioned by some outside authority (“the media say…”) and she is given a platform to affirm the authenticity of the marriage using claims that she was merely “following her heart.” There is generally very little editorializing in these pieces and the accusations of fraud tend to be framed secondarily as such (i.e. “many have alleged…” in the above article). Both People and CNN highlight Kim’s use of the term “business decision,” when talking about the marriage but they frame it within the larger context of her having called it a bad one if that had been her true motivation. Interestingly, National Post writer Miranda Furtado provides much less contextualization. In this article, headlined “Kim Kardashian calls her marriage to Kris Humphries a ‘bad business decision’,” Furtado opens with the following: “Kim Kardashian is still making headlines about her 72-day marriage. The reality starlet and E!
108 queen continues to insist her marriage was real, but now admits it may have been a ‘bad business decision’” (Furtado, 2012, “Kim Kardashian divorce: Reality star calls 72-day marriage a ‘bad business decision,’” para. 1). It is interesting to note that Furtado herself (or her editor) put Kardashian in the headline, but phrases it differently – Kim is “still making headlines.” In fact, this phrasing could be read as stripping the newspaper of responsibility in the publicity machine at work here and thus naturalizing the process while also attributing such editorial decisions to Kim Kardashian herself. Furthermore, the quote about the marriage being a ‘bad business decision,’ is taken out of context – for Kim qualifies the statement by saying “if” it was a business decision, as many people are claiming, then it was a bad one, so surely it could not have been because she is a (successful) business woman.
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- Winter '16
- Robert Kalle
- It, Reality television