Pimping out tragedy--posted by Tony Garcia on 7/13/2006
I hate people that whore their tragedies. Kid gets killed and you have to camp out at the President's vacation grounds. Mom dies of cancer and you have to go on a crusade against tobacco companies. I admit that with private citizens it is usually difficult to articulate the difference between pimping one's tragedy and an awakened awareness/activism. Sister dies of diabetes and you contribute money to the Diabetes Foundation while participating in the fundraising every year.
With people in the public sphere it is easier to delineate. I personally feel there are more things that should be looked at with more scrutiny when assessing the person's character...namely a character that would pimp one's tragedy or use the tragedy of others for one's own political gain.
Cashing in on your celebrity is another thing. An example of this is how Coleen Rowley uses her position in the FBI and her created celebrity as a "whistleblower" to draw attention to her campaign. (Details at the link above.) Basically making appearances under the guise of being "not a part of" one's campaign during a campaign. Typical politicians do it all of the time (and that does not make it right or palatable) when they show up at places as the Representative so it is not campaigning even though they are running for a different office.
To me the level of depravity by the person is directly correlated to the importance of the cause to remain non-political. Do it for a Save the Humpback Beatle awareness seminar and it is bad but not bordering unethical. Do it for a Save the Children from Incest Session and it is bordering on reprehensible.
Now enter Patty Wetterling.
Patty Wetterling to Host Session on Child Internet SafetyThis is politicizing an issue that should not be politicized. Worse than that is Wetterling is not even willing to admit this to be a campaign event which means that the effort is to deceive the public.
ANOKA, MINN. - Patty Wetterling will lead a one-hour information and discussion session on child internet safety at Northtown Library in Blaine on tomorrow, July 14. The public is welcome to attend. Wetterling will suggest ways to keep children safe while using the internet, and will provide an update on internet safety legislation. Detective Jeff Rokeh from the Anoka County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigation Division will also be present. Wetterling and Detective Rokeh will invite attendees to ask questions and participate in a discussion.
I was scolded during the convention season for holding the rhetoric and tactics of the candidates to them as if the general public would be judging on what was done up until about a month ago. "No one's paying attention now except the insiders/activists." The point is the same style rhetoric and tactics WILL be used in front of those who are not paying attention enough to look deeper at the issues. What you saw and heard in March-June will be seen and heard again in the coming months. These people (politicians) prey on the public not paying attention.
I find that reprehensible.
Wetterling is preying on the fact that Joe Q Public will go, "Hmm, this is not a campaign event and it is an important issue. That Patty is willing to sacrifice her campaign to help this important cause."
Commonplace? Too much so...in fact this particular race will see this done to the nth degree because both candidates have very little regard for anyone but their own career and both candidates have very little, if any, decency or honor.
Should we accept it? Hell no.
Patty is politicizing an issue that should be left unpartisaned (check the OED for that one please). The result may be a short term bump for her ("oh, she REALLY cares about children"). The long term result is that this issue will get less attention that it deserves because once politicians have an issue they rarely can help the issue.
Patty...the best thing for you to do is cancel this event so that it can be an American issue instead of a political one.