In light of the Rupert Murdoch scandal, it has finally come down to a basic question for each American: How big a role does money play in our lives?
In our society, money matters a lot. We may be fond of saying that money isn’t everything, but is it?
Obviously, most of us will do everything we can to take care of the needs of our families. In a land of plenty, it would be difficult to sit by and watch family members go without food or medicine.
But beyond human needs, we need to really look ourselves in the mirror and determine how far we are willing to go to feather our nests.
We pride ourselves on being a law-abiding nation. We say publicly that we believe in honoring the laws of this country, but occasionally those laws can be tweaked to someone's advantage.
How much is our curiosity and desire to know driving the Big Media to make millions by invading the privacy of others?
Every day, friends tell me that they no longer watch cable news. They no longer want to hear how low the networks have stooped to get a bigger scoop.
To be sure, informed and better-educated viewers tend to gravitate to substantive news stories. But many Americans remain interested only in the garbage that piles up around the edges of major news stories.
In the old days, "peeping Toms” peered inside windows to satisfy their secret desires. Today, members of the media hack into private telephone lines.
They invade privacy simply to satisfy the entertainment appetites of viewers who lack the inner resources to entertain themselves. These viewers can satisfy their rabid curiosities for a few minute while the networks, of course, rake in big bucks for their efforts.
We have come to the point of thinking that anything goes. But is it really OK to hack into the lives of 9/11 victims? Do we want to teach this kind of behavior to the nation’s children?
Maybe it's time to ask ourselves if this is what democracy is all about: making as much money as we can, any way we can.
I admit, I’m disappointed that people have not displayed more outrage in this matter.
Unfortunately, I believe that television has taught some of us to become so beguiled with the lifestyles of the rich and famous that we no longer care about ethics or morals.
Frankly, I think a lot of the problem stems from the fact that we don’t hear much about civics and what it means to live in a democracy these days. We concentrate too much on the privileges and too little on the responsibilities of citizenship.
Is the primary advantage of living in a democracy the ability to make a million dollars?
I don’t know. Ask yourself.