Scandals involving every sort of impropriety have been blowing up over the last year. Virtually all of them involve Hollywood and Washington, D.C.
This year has shaped up, like no other, to be the year of the scandal. I wonder if the Chinese could, at this late date, retroactively change 2017 from the Year of the Rooster, to the Year of the Scandal? It’s probably too late. However, the way things are shaping up, 2018 will likely bring more of the same.
A woman called into Rush Limbaugh’s national radio program Thursday to discuss the topic of scandals. But it wasn’t just regarding the scandals themselves, but the response to them.
She had a very interesting and profound observation regarding accountability – so much so that it impressed Rush. And after almost 30 years on the radio, he isn’t impressed by many callers.
Her point went directly to the differences in accountability between the private and public sector. We geeks who follow this stuff are well aware of the stark contrast between the two, but it isn’t often that the entire nation has a chance to witness the disparity played out simultaneously. Sure, a year scarcely goes by when someone famous doesn’t fall from grace, but it is usually no more than one or two.
I can’t name another time in our history when there has been such a plethora of disgraceful behavior, perpetrated by so many – and virtually all for the same crime of sexual misconduct. But it’s the reaction to these scandals that is so telling, and what the caller stressed.
The list of depraved Hollywood and media heavyweights being brought down grows steadily. Yet regardless how powerful they are, or have been, when the scandal finally does break, most are immediately dispatched. For how long is anyone’s guess. Only time will tell.
Kevin Spacey is a shining example of a private-sector reaction. Once public, it took almost no time for Spacey to be virtually wiped away from all reference on the big and small screen.
It’s hardly an appropriate comparison, but I am reminded of a scene in the greatest film of all time – “The Ten Commandments.” Upon learning of the “betrayal” of Moses, Pharaoh Sethi proclaimed: “Let the name of Moses be stricken from every book and tablet, stricken from all pylons and obelisks, stricken from every monument of Egypt. Let the name of Moses be unheard and unspoken, erased from the memory of men for all time.”
The point the caller was making is that the private sector, whether it be industry, Hollywood or media, realizes its dependency on the public, and such scandals are bad for business and the bottom line. Once they are outed, they must be dealt with swiftly. No one is seen running to their defense, lest they, too, be dragged down.
The public sector has no bottom line. As Hollywood and television icons get the ax, the Washington politicians, accused of the very same offenses, appeared to be going nowhere.
Despite their shame, they know that not much can be done to them. They obviously feel little, if any, accountability to anyone. Oh sure, Conyers resigned his seat as senior Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, but that’s little consolation to those he abused.
Another difference is that of process. It’s been repeated that these politicians deserve the right of due process, whereas there is no such call for it in the private sector. The politician, like Al Franken, can be caught dead-to-rights, and still others in his party insist that we should allow the legal process to work or convene some bogus “ethics” investigation. That’s a good one – ethics in Washington, D.C. Half the people on the Senate Ethics Committee are probably guilty of the same thing.
Let me clarify that. This is only the case when the politician is a Democrat. Spineless Republicans will throw their own overboard because of an unpaid parking ticket.
The bottom line is that our federal government has grown so large and so far removed from the people they are sworn to serve that they feel answerable to no one – especially the American people. Had Harvey Weinstein been a Democratic senator or congressman, he would likely still be employed.