The saga of the controversial NY Times Weddings "Vows" column continues to rage on—this time, the ex-husband of the bride (you know, the guy who was dumped because his wife fell in love with a married father from their kid's pre-K) is talking! Bob Ennis is upset at ex-wife Carol Anne Riddell, her new husband John Partilla AND the NY Times, telling Forbes' Jeff Bercovici, "No, I wasn’t contacted or interviewed or given any opportunity to opine on any of it, including having my seven-year-old daughter’s picture in the paper. The primary story here is not that interesting. People lie and cheat and steal all the time. That’s a fact of life. But rarely does a national news organization give them an unverified megaphone to whitewash it."
On Sunday, the Times published one of their usual "Vows" columns—a feature-y look a couple's relationship and march to commitment—but this time, the couple "met in 2006 in a pre-kindergarten classroom. They both had children attending the same Upper West Side school. They also both had spouses." The column offered Riddell's angst at being in love with Partilla while still married (she would cry in the shower and wondered, "Why am I being punished? Why did someone throw him in my path when I can’t have him?") and Partilla's new epiphany now that he's remarried, "I didn’t believe in the word soul mate before, but now I do." His ex-wife may not have been his soul mate, but she's still the mother of their three kids.
Ennis also told Forbes, "The idea that [the Times] fact-check a style story — I don’t think that’s incumbent on them. But there’s a difference between that and publishing a choreographed, self-serving piece of revisionist history for two people who are both members of the media industry." (Riddell is a former WNBC reporter, Partilla is an advertising executive.) Riddell had explained she wanted to offer "one honest account of how this happened for our sakes and for our kids’ sakes," but Ennis groused, "You could easily try to brush this off as a kind of self-evidence, a self-serving act by a couple of narcissistic people who for whatever reason have a need to try to persuade people, except for the fact that there are lots of children involved. These kids watch TV, they read newspapers a little bit and certainly they surf the internet."
These kids will surf the Internet and read comments on the NY Times' website like, "Surely, there were many, many other couples with interesting stories that could have been featured; complete with flaws, with fits and stops, with proverbial spinach in their teeth. Why publish this, a story that cuckolds not only the institution of marriage but the unceremoniously discarded spouses ? It was absolutely the saddest story in the NYT, save the obits."