Even before someone is a year old. The world starts looking at what you do, how you do things and why you do things. It is meaningless to evaluate a little child, but with the availability of internet and telephony (at very little cost to the users) just about everything that we do is getting transmitted, and is available immediately and forever for scrutiny. We simply google for anything and there it is. One doesn’t need to tell their life story, it’s out there for just googling and dissecting.
While the internet brings information on to your screen with just a few key strokes. It also opens one’s life to the www. If you are any kind of a public figure, then there is just about everything that you have done, documented for everyone to google. The www continuously documents every bit of our history and present. The simple search tools are of great value for learning and understanding. The library of yesteryears is at your fingertips and on your computer. In fact history, past and the present is relayed as is, and as things happen. CNN started the trend of 27/7/365/366 reporting, and the coverage was most times unedited, unfiltered and reported thru the eyes of the reporter on the spot. The events of 911 (which I heard on my car Radio driving to Miami, and then glued to the TV as it happened, Iraq war, now the ISIS and the in between Afghanistan and Osama Bin Laden, and all the strife around the world keeps the reporters and photographers very busy and well-travelled. From isolated incidents of yester years, the killings and unabashed human carnage has been increasingly filling our viewing space.
One of the biggest viewership after the carnage and war, is the dirt digging of backgrounds on politicians. From the American president’s birth certificate (the man is fifty years old and has been in public life most of his adult life) to the Indian prime Minister’s very young marriage, to who’s Kim Kardashian, all things are detailed in the greatest possible narrative. The fund part of the coverage is not just simple reporting, what follows is continued coverage of every tidbit of information that is real and gossip, that is broadcasted all over the internet, radio and television, followed by the daily newspapers and magazines. Until the next bit of reporting comes on the air, the channels continuously beat the last ounce of everything out of it, and then move on with the next sensational story.
While the ongoing and current events, specially the wars and disasters get great coverage, one of the great areas of aggressive reporting is often looking into the background and past referencing to anyone that is important (politicians mainly) or anyone that might begin to get public attention (again politicians mainly). No information is sacred, and no one is sacred, no person related or friend or associate is spared and almost often the search is on for some dirt on the individual.
When you are a politician, or you want to become a politician the scrutiny is excruciating. For a local level politician wanting to move to the national level politics, the media gives the X-Ray treatment from every angle. The media doesn’t stop until they dig and dig into every aspect of the person’s life. The media can and will twist and turn every event, every word, action of the individual in either good or no good.
The person under the intense scrutiny might not remember every instance of what the background reporting might stumble upon, and in what context. In many cases the simple reactions to any of the instances can be simple human reaction. But taken into the context of the media coverage today, a lot of gossip, hyperbole, and expert opinion gets added to the non-issue of yesteryears, and becomes political gossip of today. After a series of intense debate by so called experts, the non-issue starts become something of a statement to defend. Absurd but ruefully true.