Tuesday, February 03, 2009
"Bong Hits for Michael Phelps?" Please!
Well, my Libertarian Party days come roaring back. I ask, doesn’t Richland County, S.C. or Columbia’s district attorney and police departments have anything better to do than go after Michael Phelps for a “bong hit” at a party? Prosecution? Please. Maybe there’s nothing. Smoke doesn’t always mean fire.
Of course, the picture will probably be on the Internet forever. Welcome to “online reputation defense.” If you want to "see it", go to the "What a Dope" story By Georgina Dickinson at "News of the World" (dot-UK), here.
And he may or may not have difficulties with his endorsements, his medals, etc. As he said, “I’m 23 years old.” He looks it (or younger, sometimes; for a grown up picture go here first for Chuck Culpepper's Los Angeles Times image and story Feb. 8, although "I prefer without"). His brain isn’t grown until 25, remember. But celebrities make such delicious targets to be brought low, don’t they. Huffington has the videos of his confessionals, here.
Harry Browne, when he was a Libertarian Party candidate, used to say that the most important thing was to get rid of this “ war on drugs.”
The Wall Street Journal legal blog has a story by Dan Slater, here.
The National Football League reportedly trains rookie players in "branding" and "image" (or "reputation") with regard to off-the-field public behavior. More and more, people whose livelihood depends on public image are having to watch how they look (on the web, with material photographed and posted by others) so carefully. It stays out there forever.
To explain the Newseum picture, look at the school case Morse v. Frederick, as on Wikipedia, here.
Update: Feb. 5
Ashton Kutcher has a comment on his Myspace blog (point 4), link here. No one gets "punked."
The media has reported that Phelps has been suspended by USA Swimming for three months. The organization's statement about role modeling is here.
Update: February 10, 2009: Now its Steroid Hits for Alex Rodriguez
Now, Alex Rodriguez has gone down, admitting three years of steroid use while at the Texas Rangers. Now they say, most of his career was clean. Will that be good enough? The ESPN video om A-Rod starts here.
Today ABC's "The View" considered the question of when a sports or entertainment hero has to take on the responsibilities of "role model." As we used to say in 1969 in my Army barracks, our ocelots have "clay feet."
Do our professional sports mean anything now?