We are confronted yet again with the latest in a string of episodes (Don Imus, Alec Baldwin) that have allowed the media to engage in self-righteous grandstanding. I’m talking about the video showing David Hasselhoff at his most vulnerable—shirtless, drunk and awkwardly eating a hamburger on the floor.
I generally favor the unfettered dissemination of information unless there’s an extremely cogent reason for not doing so. For example, I think the media should air graphic pictures of war, because people need to be confronted with such imagery so they’re not deluding themselves into thinking war is like a day at Universal Studios. Sparing the feelings of family or sensitive members of the public isn’t a valid reason for not doing so. We’ll save my (angry) opinion on Dick Cheney—a person elected to represent us—being able to withhold information on whom he consulted to devise energy policy for later.
But I couldn’t even watch the Hasselhoff video in its entirety; the thing made me so sad for the guy. I just hope all the posturing over his alcoholism doesn’t obscure the fact that the person who released this video to the public (don’t forget—it will live on the Internet forever) is the scum of the Earth, as far as I’m concerned. It was an unimaginably malicious act.
We’ve got it all wrong when someone’s intimately private breakdown is made public, while crucial matters relating to government policy are shielded from view. But, hey, what else is new?