The Covington Catholic High School fiasco that has developed over the last weeks has shown more than ever why many are skeptical about the media these days. Facts and context — the reality on the ground — were put in the background in favor of a fable that confirmed a political allegory.
What is most shocking is that in today’s world, this is not an exception anymore. Much blame may be shifted to social media as a phenomenon that makes people feel safe in the anonymity of the online world and thus less inhibited than they would otherwise be. Still, the Covington Catholic saga is simply a symptom of a much bigger problem: the politicization of society — or, indeed, everything in life.
Needless to say, politicization is not new. But it feels as though, in today’s dramatically polarized climate, it is more extreme than in decades before. The Gillette ad, perhaps the only other “news story” that has garnered as much attention as Covington Catholic this year, is a prime example: regardless of what one thinks of it in the end, the question needs to be put forward why Gillette even thought it necessary to make a political statement in a commercial for razors. One needs to ask, to mention another example, why Ben & Jerry’s ever felt the need to launch a new ice creamnamed for “the Resistance.”
Consumed and Blinded
These days, it seems almost an impossibility to meet family and loved ones and not discuss Trump, Brexit, or the European elections. It seems unavoidable to be quickly judged by other humans not by your character but your political views. Everyone who is generally a Trump supporter has to be a fascist with whom one cannot interact anymore. Everyone who is generally a Democrat has to be a socialist or member of the elite with whom one cannot interact anymore.
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