We in the journo racket are used to companies immediately seizing upon something in the news to twist into a press release on their supposedly related goods and services, but Morningside Recovery is taking the phenomenon to ghoulish new heights (depths?). The Newport Beach drug rehab that Lindsay Lohan famously blew off in May for Betty Ford has announced a substance abuse treatment scholarship for performing artists “to honor the memory of performers like Cory Monteith.”
Monteith, of course, is the Glee co-star found dead in a Vancouver hotel Sunday from a heroin and alcohol overdose. He'd struggled with substance abuse for years.
“To honor the memory of performers like Cory Monteith who have struggled or lost their lives to substance abuse, Morningside Recovery seeks to impart a constructive benefit for members of the national performance arts community through the creation of this Performing Arts Scholarship, which will provide a full course of substance abuse treatment for one member of the performing arts community each year at no charge,” reads the release dated Wednesday.
“People in such a high pressure profession are under constant scrutiny and tend to develop issues with depression and anxiety, and, sadly, they abuse substances as a coping skill,” explains Morningside Recovery's primary therapist Karen Alonso in the announcement, which adds that many performers do not have the means to afford in-depth, professional treatment for addictions and substance abuse.
Don't get me wrong: it sounds like a worthy thing to do. And Lido Marina-based Morningside, which has been battered by neighbors, City Hall and state regulators for years, could surely use positive press.
But by announcing this scholarship before the troubled man's body has been laid to rest comes off as inappropriately self-serving and gross as Westboro Baptist Church blaring out that it will picket the Glee cast member's funeral.