I thought it was great when tonight’s substitute anchorperson on NBC News, Savannah Guthrie, said that the last segment would be about Gene Wilder, who died today of Alzheimer’s. I looked forward to seeing some of his old film clips again, and hearing about his career. And I did. But then Guthrie said something that rankled. As best I can recall, it is this statement, referring to Gilda Radner
“Gene Wilder. . . . now reunited with his wife after decades of making us laugh.”
Well, it might refer simply to the fact that they’re reunited underground, but I seriously doubt that’s the implication. No, the implication is that they’re seeing each other again in the afterlife.
Much as I liked both Wilder and Radner, and would love to know that they’d see each other again, I know that it just ain’t so. What newswriter (anchors don’t write their own copy) would say such a thing—and get away with it? The sooner that newspapers and television stop tacitly assuming that we live on after death, the better.