Watching from the outside as innuendo drives the news cycle, facts become less important, news arriving quickly morphs to serve the best interest of the news outlets as ‘click bait’ to sell ad space at the expense of a good person’s reputation.
Take for instance our sixty-something British executive producer, who two weeks ago side hugged a writer on his show and now headlines scream of mistreatment and inappropriate behavior. I am not trying to litigate the details of this situation only use this situation to shed light on media and consumer consumption.
When the President is being impeached and the country has, some serious issues happening, USA Today and other top publications are creating news out of thin air and changing the tone of a conversation from a person who side hugged a woman to a person whose behavior was in some way a gross negligence. Why? The man is married to a rather famous actress and the news story and headlines if misconstrued can make for a tantalizing talking point that will have you (the consumer) click the link and make an innocuous issue into a bigger problem.
Like a game of telephone, where one person whispers in another’s ears and so on until what was a boring story has now become the subject of a national news story that is set to destroy reputations. Really? Where is the news?
If a 60-year-old British man hugs someone and that person feels uncomfortable and the man then proceeds to go through sensitivity training and the person who was the offended feels that this was an adequate response where is the news? Why does this matter? Who cares? As the poor young woman who originally felt offended says “I think people have the space to learn and change and I don’t want someone open to that education to be punished”.
That is courage. That is redemption.
What purpose does it serve to drag that man into some story that in its core is not a story simply because if misconstrued can be a clickbait utilizing provocative words in titles so that we will click on that link?
And the more we click on the link the more a non-story becomes a story, the more the story is perverted and the sooner a decent man’s reputation is threatened.
People are not all good or all bad. They are complicated and they evolve and they grow and learn and change. All good people can do is learn and work to make themselves better people. How has this been lost in a five second sound bite? And in a moment, it is a non-story to everyone accept the actors and actresses who are left feeling misunderstood and craving closure.