TCS Daily – YouTube Politics

My latest for TCS Daily, “YouTube Politics” (working title, “Political Misperceptions Can Make a Macaca Out of You”) is up. It was sparked by the latest George Allen controversy but focuses on the larger issue of public figures getting defined by snap impressions:

George Allen Macaca None of us would like to be judged by our worst moment, yet that’s often what happens to public figures. Especially those, like Allen, who are literally followed everywhere they go by people with cameras.

This is especially problematic because television gives us the false impression that we “know” celebrities. This leads to occasionally irrational behavior, such as mass outpourings of grief at the death of people we don’t know (say, Princess Diana) or obsession with who Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston are sleeping with at the moment (hint: not you). It also leads to shock when people are not who we thought they were (think: O.J. Simpson).

Much more at the link. Discussion here and/or there welcomed.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.