I just learned that quite recently a detail of the private life of a prominent gay person (very likely not a Republican) was made public. I had always thought it was primarily for political reasons that such things were exposed. But, I guess people’s prurient obsessions transcend politics.
It does seem that in this internet age there is no privacy any more. And that’s unfortunate.
So, we often learn the private details of public figures lives and sometimes those details reflect only tiny fraction of his or her life. Because of the sensational nature of journalism today, sometimes that detail gets repeated over and over again, so that it seems a few minor “indiscretions” comes to define an individual’s public image. At least they are to the media–and those who get their information about this person from the media.
And since most people don’t know this person personally, their perspective becomes skewed by the sensational coverage. We hear so much about these indiscretions and nothing say about his regular visits to his grandmother or some other kind deed he has done more often than that indiscretion. And yet the visits he makes to Grandma may say far more about his nature than one radio act captured on video and posted on the web.
Even our readers have such interests, with one person offering in a comment the details about the private life of another blogger. We quickly deleted it (as I will detail any attempt by readers to identify the person at issue in the first paragraph of the post).
For any of you who think it’s a good thing to publish such information, examine your own life and realize that you, as have we all, done some things you would not wish to be made public. They happened only a few times. Those things are not who you are, but just one part–and maybe only a small part.
Perhaps, I am thinking of this because in the wake of the passing of actor David Carradine, I’ve been hearing much about his manner of death and little about his career. We should focus more on his accomplishments (and he had many) and downplay his indiscretions — as we should with all people, including that individual mentioned at the outset of this post.