No Margin For Error

Pat Kane ends up in the klink after being arrested for beating up a taxi driver and robbing him.  OK, this sounds crazy but barely plausible.  Next thing you know, everyone is yelling for Kane’s head and wondering how a big name dude does something so stupid.  The inevitable “privileged asshole athlete” theme begins to overtake the commentary.  Sandy Beach is calling for him to go to jail (with the snide comment “if he’s guilty, of course”).

But wait.

Turns out Kane and cousin may have been locked in the cab by the driver, who thought they were just a couple college kids who might skip out on a fare.   The driver’s lawyer is now trying to downplay the incident.  Reports that the driver has gotten into spats with customers before are beginning to make their way to the media.  Hmmm.

What this sounds like is a couple kids that are probably a little intoxicated and one of whom is a pretty rich and famous hometown boy ran into a surly cab driver with a temper who was going to teach a couple college boys a lesson.  Then all hell – or, as is seemingly more likely, a smaller incident – broke loose and everyone ends up looking dumb.  People arrested, stories on the news and talk radio and every online media outlet in town, people who don’t know a hockey puck from a doughnut shouting their opinions at each other.  What this so clearly illustrates is that there is little room for error for those in the public eye, or even those who either inadvertently or purposely get caught in the glare of the media spotlight.

As a student of people – and who really isn’t? – I have a few questions.   Is this a new phenomenon?  Certainly the sheer size, reach, and ubiquity of media coverage is at an all time high.  Is it too much?  Are we expecting an level of behavior from our celebrities that is simply out of touch with the reality of their status as human beings, mere mortals, people who were born just like us?  I think that the money accorded these folks comes with an awful and almost unfulfillabe expectation.  Should we dial it back a bit?  Can we?  Or is this the bell that cannot be unrung?

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One Response to “No Margin For Error”

  1. Pauldub Says:

    Funny how we become disappointed when someone does not fulfill our expectations. They didn’t promise us anything, we just assume that they will step into the role we perceive they should have.I don’t recall seeing anything stating that they were definitely under the influence. If they were, then they were acting as a role model by taking a cab instead of getting behind the wheel. Unlike the people you read about every day in the news.

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