The sound of one political hand clapping… or how a controversy isn’t quite a controversy until… July 29, 2008Posted by WorldbyStorm in Irish Politics, US Politics.
While the story itself is of basically nothing more than prurient interest (which is to say not at all) the near media blackout on this is quite fascinating. The relevant wiki page is under an embargo, the mainstream media hasn’t gone live with it and it has assumed a sort of half-life on the blogs. Nor was the National Enquirer website available today when I tried to access it. What story some of you may ask. For more, read here.
…and download an enormously entertaining podcast from the Slate Political Gabfest here where tempers frayed big-time over the rights and wrongs of public figures having affairs.
I’m not much of a moralist on this issue, although I do believe that the lack of judgement aspect of it is far from beyond question.
Still, I never cease to be amazed at how people in the public spotlight manage to wind up again and again in ‘difficult’ circumstances. It’s so banal in a way – to see precisely the same behaviour patterns as one will encounter anywhere else played out in a situation where discovery is disaster. Perhaps ‘power’ is an aphrodisiac, but what a waste of time and energy. And I guess an argument can be made that if you’re running for office then it is entirely valid to wonder at the sense of someone who would have an affair, but then again. I guess context is all.
It’s interesting in a way how that hasn’t been an element of Irish public life to the degree found elsewhere. Perhaps that is indicative of a public culture that initially couldn’t believe such things could happen and where subsequently that dynamic became embedded in the discourse to the point of aversion. Either way I tend to think we’ve been reasonably well served by such an approach, although rumours have proliferated, particularly for some reason during the Haughey era, and not restricted to him either.
Isn’t that always the way?