The idea of full disclosure is normally a good thing. However, I do not want full disclosure on everything. I really don’t. Many years ago I was reading an article on what was in a sausage. I stopped. I do not want to know what is in a sausage. I love sausages.
I do want to know what the politicians are doing with public funds. I want to know if a politician’s extracurricular activities will impinge on the job he or she was hired to do. I do not want to know what his sexual preferences are. If it is between two consenting adults then it does not matter to the rest of us. Or it shouldn’t. The same goes for the celebrity types. It’s none of my business, please don’t make it so.
Private should mean just that: private. This thirst so many people have for the ‘dirt’ on others is unseemly. I find it demeaning to the ‘looker’ and the ‘lookee’. But I fear I am in the minority. Who am I to judge another’s form of entertainment. It is a multibillion dollar business.
One of the things the media loves to say is that “the public has a right to know”. Yes, they do. Mostly. The public has rights. But an individual also has rights. I am horrified when I see an accident where there are deaths. The media scrambles to find out the names of the people that have died. They don’t care if the family has been notified, they just want the scoop. That is wrong!
Many years ago my father was in a plane crash. He broke his back but he survived. Once he was out of the hospital the media descended on my family. There were aggressive strangers calling and asking questions. There was a media truck that was parked outside our home way too often. My mother and I, on more than one occasion, had to sit where we could see the house and wait for the truck to leave. Then we would race home, hide the car in the garage and run inside. Why?
I was a teenager I should not have had to walk around checking out strangers over my shoulder. They wanted to know how I felt. You want to know how I felt? I felt violated! I was a young adult and I was dealing with the trauma of what my father was going through. I was having to watch every word I said. Idiot reporters were quite happy to twist anything I said to make it sound more salacious! With everything that was going on in the world and they wanted to harass my family? I didn’t understand it then and I don’t understand now. I hated the media!
I believe the media has a role in our world. I think for the most part they are doing a good job. But full disclosure comes with huge responsibilities. The media, I am sure, is aware of that but they act as if it’s not their problem. That does not make sense to me.
My parents used to have a boat moored a few hours from our home. They would go up there on the weekends and for vacations. One weekend there was a tornado. I was concerned but I believed the severest weather would miss them. So you can imagine my concern when I turn on the TV only to discover they are reporting the path of the tornado to be directly on top of my parents!
Because of the severe weather I knew I would not be able to call my parents. So I waited. I knew they would call me as soon as they were able. It was almost 2 days. They were fine. The weather had been rough but the tornado had not touched down anywhere near them. The report was wrong! These @#$%^ media types had published information that was untrue! I am quite sure I am not the only one that was in a state of panic because of that report. I never heard an apology, but then one rarely does from the media. They wanted their scoop and didn’t care if the information was wrong or who they hurt. Can you appreciate now why I’m not a fan of the media?
Full disclosure is an ideal and it’s a good one. Unfortunately like so many things in life the application of that ideal is anything but. With full disclosure comes full responsibility. I don’t think most of us are capable of taking on that kind responsibility. I know I’m not, are you?