Jack Shafer, who covers media for the Reuters.com Opinion section, tells people complaining about Gen. David Petraeus media coverage to go “pound sand.” Saturated media coverage of sex scandals, he says optimistically, functions to engage an otherwise apathetic public on current events and the workings of the criminal justice system.
As was the case with the Clinton-Lewinsky sex scandal, the Herman Cain sexual harassment scandal, the Anthony Weiner Twitter scandal, the Eric Massa “tickle” scandal, the John Edwards sex scandal, and many others, some columnist or talking head will grumble about how the Petraeus story has distracted the populace from the real issues of the day — the fiscal cliff, climate change, job creation, the deficit, Hurricane Sandy recovery, Sudan and Somalia, immigration policy, the Middle East…
Tell these people to go pound sand.
Political sex scandals have a way of engaging an otherwise apathetic public in substantive coverage about the workings of the criminal justice system, the misuse of political power, and American prudery.
The least worthy press critic is the one who complains about too much coverage. The best knows when to simply turn the page.
-Stephanie Curtis, social media host