Ted Koppel and Al Gore: Dads Who've Discovered that You Can't Have It All


al gore ted koppelToday Ted Koppel and Al Gore both proved one tough lesson: fame and money don’t buy happiness. As the rest of us sit here in our paltry little homes, dealing with our everyday drudgery (a toddler who refuses to sleep in his own bed, melon rotting in the fridge, not quite enough cash for this month’s bills), these two much-respected, hugely famous, political superstars have experienced mammoth family eruptions that remind us that their lives aren’t, necessarily, any more desirable than our own.

Andrew Koppel’s death topped the news this morning Ted Koppel’s son died after a night of heavy drinking. Then the Al Gore divorce news (so far it’s technically a separation, but divorce seems close behind) quickly overtook the Koppel shocker as the fastest spreading story. The juxtaposition seemed especially horrible since Gore, too, knows all about having a son with a tendency to overindulge.

On July 4, 2007, Al Gore’s youngest child, Albert Gore III, was pulled over for speeding. He was then arrested when cops found marijuana, Xanax, Valium, Vicodin, and Adderall in his vehicle (this is the same child who nearly died when he was hit by a car at age six). It was one of the early signs that the Gores’ dreamy life wasn’t perfect.

It’s tough to raise a kid in anonymity. It’s even tougher to do so under the pressures of fame. Despite all of the nannies (and therapists!) that a celebrity salary can buy, these families have a tough row to hoe. So today, my heart goes out hugely to the Koppels, who’ve suffered an unfathomable tragedy. And I also feel for the Gores, whose marriage always seemed dreamy to me. Maybe you can’t really have it all.