Enjoying the Benson Family Feud?
Well, who wouldn’t?
You’ve got money, power and relationship issues far beyond what just about any of us would ever be involved with.
You’ve got a man some have never forgiven for supposedly wanting to move the city’s most cherished institution during the time of its deepest despair — but who is now much loved because of what he has done in the decade since. He’s wounded in his waning time by his chosen heir not only not living up to his hopes for her, but still believing she should inherit his kingdom instead of a manipulative usurper.
That’s “Game of Thrones” stuff. If you’re of more of a literary bent, it’s straight out of “King Lear.”
“How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is, to have a thankless (grand)child,” the Bard wrote more than 400 years ago.
It’s just as true today.
Or, if you just want to have fun with it, think about how labeling it Rita vs. Gayle sounds like we’ve got dueling hurricanes come to life. Maybe we’ll get to see the real laundry come out in court.
Already you have your choice of salacious rumors about one, both or all three, if you like.
Or, you can just worry about the immediate and future impact on the Saints and Pelicans. Already the strife is being given as reason why the Saints went 7-9.
That last part is why this is being played out on a public stage writ much larger than if there were just banks, auto dealerships and ranches involved. That would be dull.
In the past few days, we’ve already heard more about irrevocable family trusts and succession plans than we ever thought about — or wanted to know about.
And we haven’t even gotten to know much about seldom-seen daughter Renee LeBlanc and never-seen grandson Ryan LeBlanc, who runs those latter parts of Tom Benson’s business empire.
Who knows what they’ve done to incur the old man’s wrath?
However you want to look at it, it’s great stuff. And it’s just getting started, so sit back and watch the show.
To which we say, stop it.
Yes, this is a family feud. But it’s no game show.
These are real people involved.
Yes, they’re flawed people — like all of us are.
Yes, they’ve had dysfunction in their family before — like most of us have.
But they’re also real people who undoubtedly are feeling both deeply heartbroken about what has happened and embarrassed that it is playing out this way, no matter what kind of public face they’re trying to put on.
Just read Benson’s letter to the LeBlancs and Rita LeBlanc’s blog message to her grandfather.
It’s nothing new for all involved.
Tom Benson already has been widowed twice and lost two sons to early, dreadful deaths.
Rita LeBlanc already had an estranged relationship with her father. Gayle Benson has had her share of misfortune in her life as well.
And, thanks to the age we live in, we’re allowed to make light of them behind the anonymity of message boards, call-in shows and whatever else is out there.
But would any of you who think you are so clever by labeling people you’ve never met, or who just love to pass along gossip, say these things to any of the protagonists face to face?
Didn’t think so.
Or, if any of you are like me, fortunate enough to be a grandfather, would you find it fun that your relationship came to the point that Benson’s and LeBlanc’s has?
Didn’t think so either.
Think about that.
That’s why all involved deserve our prayers.
To be sure, there’s legitimate news interest here. And we, along with other outlets, will be covering the story as it develops.
Hopefully it will be done with consideration to those involved.
As for those of you who want to watch a soap opera: Check out “The Young and the Restless.” What Victor’s trying to do to Dylan makes Tom Benson look like a piker.