Have you ever noticed how so many of us jump on the “band wagon” when a current event hits the media? It doesn’t matter what the media says, it doesn’t matter whether the information even makes sense, we react. Its pretty obvious that the media is going to spin it in a way that will get more readers or viewers. Sensationalism gets attention. No matter that people lose their jobs, have their reputations damaged, or commit suicide because they are tried in the media. We often choose to believe or grab on to the information that is the most sensational, fits our beliefs, or often just the best gossip. The media says we “have a right to know” but do we? Does the public have a right to know what is going on in our homes or the lives of public figures when the information doesn’t aid anyone except to create mistrust, fuel gossip and/or cause hysteria? We say that the subjects of the sensationalism “have their day in court” or an opportunity to speak out in their own defense. But do they? If they are found to be innocent of the accusation, does the media “always” follow up with that information? No, they don’t and whether they do or don’t often haven’t we have already made up our minds, hasn’t the damage already been done? How often is the damage undone? Isn’t it a lot like bullying?
In recent months, I have defended three people who have proven to be guilty of sex crimes or sexual behaviors. All, I can say in my defense is that I gave them the benefit of a doubt so as not to “jump on the bandwagon”. All three were people I respected so I did not want to believe they could be guilty. What does that say about my credibility?