When Will You Learn: The Whole World Is Listening

palmIt was a weird week media-wise. Pretty much the same story was repeated, just with different characters and different settings. Like a Danielle Steel novel.

Time and again, someone in the public eye said something that got them into trouble with the public. (I can only hope that they came to regret their comments.)

Imagine that.

It’s 2014. Cameras…video cameras at that…are everywhere. No one is safe from scrutiny.

But people still spout off, saying stupid things, expecting people to forget about them, or at least not record them. Except when you are in the public eye, someone always wants to catch you doing something stupid, if only to be the next hot thing on you tube.

Just a few examples:

  • Cliven Bundy isn’t a right wing hero. Well, maybe he is. But he’s also a rabid racist. Oops. Now the right wing people need to distance themselves from him. Too bad they didn’t do that when he was so anti-government, being all “taking advantage of the system” and all.
  • A Democratic candidate said while his primary opponent was off serving in Afghanistan doing nothing, he was here doing real work. Wow. Really.
  • An owner of an NBA team doesn’t want black people near him. Oops. Guess he’s unaware of who earns money in the NBA.

What really surprises me is the sheer stupidity of people. How can they not be aware of what they are doing or saying? They know they are in the public eye. They know they are getting attention for who they are and what they are trying to do. Yet, they say and do stupid things.

Don’t they know enough to stop themselves? Do they not have people around them to stop them?

For politicians, if they aren’t self-aware enough or savvy enough to have a good staff, then why would we want them in a position of leadership? I think of this every time I read another Scott Walker story and see his latest media “hero” has a criminal record or has received millions in government assistance. If he can’t vet himself, how can he lead his state or my country?

Being in the public eye seems to be changing faster than the famous people can keep up with. The rules have changed. There’s no longer any anonymity. You no longer get to hide behind dark sunglasses and a hoodie and hope to avoid detection. Everyone near you at any time is a potential representative of the media.

You might want to start acting accordingly if you want to avoid any more media faux pas.


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