We live in a high stress society in which many people are suffering from depression or other emotional problems, in which many people are trying to numb out with drugs, alcohol or other harmful behaviors.
I hope that Chiara de Blasio's struggles give the next mayor, her father, the understanding that schools are trying to help many students suffering from similar problems and need much more support in this area than was provided by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his test-centric NYCDOE.
That said, the carefully crafted and edited video itself left me feeling emotionally manipulated, like this was one of those Bill Clinton damage control specials, and makes me wonder what exactly the de Blasio transition team was trying to accomplish with it.
New York Daily News columnist Juan Gonzalez felt the same way:
There was Chiara de Blasio, the 19-year-old daughter of New York’s next mayor, gently baring her battles with depression, alcohol and drugs in a day-before-Christmas YouTube video.
The sincerity and eloquence she showed were guaranteed to touch the hearts of many New Yorkers.
And her message could well inspire countless young people in similar situations to seek help, as she urged them to do at the end.
But Chiara’s startling video, coming eight days before the official start of the Bill de Blasio era, also left you with an eerie sense of being manipulated emotionally.
Those feeling began with the melancholy piano-and-string music that accompanied her every word. It continued with graphics that marked off each section with dramatic headlines like: “Chiara de Blasio tells her story.”
Then there were the statistics sprinkled throughout, such as: “About 28% of Americans drink at levels that put them at risk for alcohol dependence.”
Finally, there was the meticulous editing of her interview to evoke a sense of intimate conversation.
It amounted to a skillfully scripted Madison Avenue commercial that must have been in the planning for weeks — not some young woman’s spontaneous confession the day before Christmas.
It had all the earmarks of the damage-control tactics favored by Harold Ickes, the former Bill Clinton aide who is now a trusted adviser to de Blasio.