All About It

It’s been around for hundreds of years. Most all of us are involved and the 24 hour cable news cycle, Twitter, Facebook, and the web make it much easier. There are no exceptions for the most part although some seem to be highlighted more than others. It is gender neutral, race indifferent, politically ambivalent, geographically apathetic, and religiously unbiased. It includes politicians, entertainers, sports figures, religious leaders, all medias, business executives, acedemics, and for the most part–all of us. It is practiced on this site. For some it appears to be the ultimate goal or prize. Interestingly enough it is mostly applied in a negative manner but could and should be used to accentuate a positive happening.

And what is it ? It is the infamous gotcha moment used to say, “see–we told you so”! Or we always suspected they would say or do that ! How many are waiting for Sarah Palin to mis-name a country, get a divorce, have an affair, admit she’s a lesbian, etc. Or find that Nancy Pelosi misused public funds, cheated on taxes, was a stripper when she was younger, etc. And Presidents have so many gotcha moments we are mostly desensitized to them. What is YouTube but an accumulation of many gotcha moments either unplanned or contrived. It’s part of our new lifestyle enhanced by the many and varied public access vehicles now at our disposal.

As alluded to this is not a new phenomenon but one that seems to drive many, especially the media. Rather than report something after it has occurred many today try to precipitate a gotcha moment to get more viewers or readership, to promote an agenda, or to contibute to the downfall of someone or something you disagree with.

The event of last weekend and it’s aftermath has spotlighted most everything wrong with the gotcha philosophy of communicating. To enumerate the specifics is not my goal here but hopefully we can all work to let truth be our guiding principle rather than the predetermined gotcha moment.


  1. Randy, Just a thought about the’gotcha philosophy communicating’. I’ve found it to be the end of comunications. To take a it a step further, isn’t most of what appears on this, and most other blogs a never ending search for the ultimate Gotcha! momment?

    “…hopefully we all can work to let truth be our guiding principle…”. Just for fun I submit the following: From John Keats, “Beauty is truth, truth beauty-” (Ode on a Greecian Urn). Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, source unknown. If Beauty= Truth and Beauty is a matter of opinon, what is Truth?

    As a personal observation, as I’ve advanced in years I find I have fewer answers and a whole lot more questions. What is truth, is just one of them.

  2. Randy in Richmond says:

    RMS, minds greater than mine have debated the meaning of the last four lines of Keat’s Ode and their conclusions are many and varied. When I speak of truth I speak of literal truth or as near to that as one can get. Truth can be a slippery slope and thus we debate to try and filter it out. What I have encountered on this site is that sometimes statements are made but when questioned the reply is ” oh that was sarcasm”, or “don’t you understand nuance”.

    Keats also said “a thing of beauty is a joy forever.” I find this to be a wonderful line I can fully support. But I do not understand his ” beauty is truth” statement at all. Thus I have no problem letting truth be one of my guiding principles-but not beauty. And aspiring for something does not mean one always achieves it.

  3. Randy in Richmond says:

    Yes, I suspect a large part of many of the commentors here and on other sites could be labeled as searching for the ‘gotcha’ moment. Most times it is something in between because we flavor our comments with our beliefs and biases. My point is that none of this happened in the aftermath of the killings in Tucson-and it still continues in many of the various mediums.