I’d Rather Be Spied on Than Dead or Out of Work
The year was 1987. Democratic presidential front-runner Gary Hart was rumored to be having an extramarital fling. “Follow me around. I don’t care. I’m serious,” he challenged the media. “If anybody wants to put a tail on me, go ahead. They’ll be very bored.”
A couple of Miami Herald reporters did indeed put a tail on Hart and found a yummy blonde named Donna Rice. Shortly thereafter, a photo surfaced of Hart and Rice canoodling in the Bahamas aboard a yacht, aptly named Monkey Business.
Hart not only lost his front-runner status, he was no longer a runner at all. He also opened Pandora’s box—giving the green light for the media to spy on politicians’ private lives, which were theretofore pretty much off-limits.
Unlike Gary Hart, I haven’t asked anyone to spy on me.
Yet know I am being spied on—by government, by business, by marketers—and were I holding down a real job in a real office, my employer would be spying on me.
And I am glad of it.
Quite simply, we are all being spied on. Get used to it.
Can We Trust Big Brother?
Let me say at the outset, I do not trust big government. For example, In the past two weeks:
• Investigators have begun this morning to try to determine the cause of a highway bridge collapse in Minneapolis that has killed at least seven people and injured more than 60. Officials warn that the death toll is likely to climb today as divers search dozens of cars submerged in the Mississippi River. “This is a catastrophe of historic proportions for Minnesota,” Minnesota Gov. Pawlenty said Wednesday, hours after the busy bridge over Interstate 35W collapsed during the evening rush hour.
—William M. Welch; Alan Gomez; USA Today, August 2, 2007
• A federal judge held the FBI “responsible for the framing of four innocent men” in a 1965 gangland murder in a landmark ruling yesterday and ordered the government to pay the men $101.7 million for the decades they spent in prison. The award is believed to be the largest of its kind nationally.
—Shelly Murphy and Brian R. Ballou, The Boston Globe, July 27, 2007