Another politician has been caught in the disgrace spotlight, this time Oregon mayor Sam Adams. To make it even more scandalous, he is the first openly gay mayor there elected, and his transgression has been that he asked a teenager to lie about their affair (he was significantly older)…
So the gasps of those I’ve heard discuss this make me wonder: Is it because he’s gay? Because of the age difference? Or because we hold politicians under a microscope and expect them to live by a different standard? If the last one, then boy, do we have a lot to learn. I’m currently taking a Media Ethics class, so our discussion of this made me want to probe the opinions and thoughts of friends, fans, and all those on the periphery.
Because, quite honestly, my response? Who cares. We spend so much time speculating about Brangelina’s kids, Britney’s body, and Amy Winehouse’s rehab details that we seem to have misplaced our mirrors. Could you stand up to the scrutiny of mega stardom? Probably not…and if you could, then you should run for something, anything, so there would be a spotlight with nothing to expose. It’s time we spent our time and energy on what matters, not ogling others. The phrase Look in your mirrors before you get out the magnifying glass is so apropos. Sam Adams hasn’t tried to be someone he’s not, but with the American fascination of exposing people’s flaws, he screwed up. Was it wrong to lie? Absolutely. But we might consider that we drive people, all people, to that. If our media handled the famous like other countries, then an openly gay man wouldn’t have to worry about covering up a gay fling with teenager (of legal age). Iceland just elected a lesbian as a Prime Minister.
We’re so far removed from that possibility that it makes me wonder how it is we’re so judgmental. Aside from social and political stance (liberal, conservative, gay, straight), we should truly adhere to the adage Judge not lest ye be judged. Maybe then we could see past the labels and accept each other for who we truly are. But until then, we’ll see black, white, rich, poor, gay, straight, fat, skinny, and all things that make a good story when exposed. No wonder so many people commit the crimes they do for their fifteen minutes…because we give it to them.