Sunday, August 10, 2008

America Rises in Righteous Indignation When . . .

Imagine, if you will, the occurrence of two sensational events on exactly the same day. One of them is the massive escalation of violence in two provinces of a former soviet republic as Russia moves troops, planes and tanks in a blatant action that can only be characterized as a Hitleresque land grab.

The other is a candid admission to mainstream media by a former presidential candidate that he had a brief affair with a promiscuous video producer – two years ago.

Which of these two events, do you think, would command the attention of talking heads on the news and other news junkies like bloggers?


While hundreds die in fighting instigated by Russia, who moved to deny its former SSR, the sovereign nation of Georgia, the success it hoped to achieve in its recently executed counter-strike against separatists, we Americans instead turn our attention toward the titillating news that former presidential candidate John Edwards had an amorous affair with a flirtatious bawd.

Americans, it seems, are so rooted in the philosophy of its Puritan founders that they react poorly in embracing these voyeuristic tendencies when one of our own admits to a human frailty that is all too common.

But what seems over the top to me, is how intensely we involve ourselves in the personal lives of a family that has placed itself in the fishbowl that is American presidential politics. Judging, condemning, and developing completely outrageous theories over and around this American tragedy, while people are again dying in Europe for reasons that can only be characterized as the modern equivalent of lebensraum.

One blogger I know of has spewed not one, not two, but three venomous attacks on Edwards, all within the space of 6 hours. Shrill in her righteous indignation, she indifferently ignored the pleadings of a woman that I have come to respect and admire, Elizabeth Edwards.

So let’s put Elizabeth Edwards’ plea on the internet one more time to remind us all that words we put out there on the web are not exposés of the character of John Edwards, but rather reflections of the writers’ own morality and values.

“John has spoken in a long on-camera interview I hope you watch. Admitting one’s mistakes is a hard thing for anyone to do, and I am proud of the courage John showed by his honesty in the face of shame. The toll on our family of news helicopters over our house and reporters in our driveway is yet unknown. But now the truth is out, and the repair work that began in 2006 will continue. I ask that the public, who expressed concern about the harm John’s conduct has done to us, think also about the real harm that the present voyeurism does and give me and my family the privacy we need at this time.”

C’mon guys, leave off

No comments: