Scandals are useful because they focus ourattention on problems in ways that no speaker or reformer ever could.
Writea response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree withthe claim. In developing and supporting your position, be sure to address themost compelling reasons and/or examples that could be used to challenge yourposition.
The statement claims that scandals are useful asthey help us focus on problems in ways that no speakers or reformers could.This claim has some merit, since scandals indeed can bring some issues todaylight which may never be revealed through formal channels. However, it is anoversimplification and unfair generalization to say that scandals are alwaysuseful. More often than not, we are distracted by the scandals when we aresupposed to focus on more important and urgent issues.
First, I do admit that some scandals are useful.Without these scandals, certain issues may never see the daylight. With thescrutiny of mass media, the immense pressure from the public will force thepoliticians and officials to make some changes, who may otherwise choose toignore these issues. For example, there are numerous scandals indicatingwidespread misconducts within the US army. A young soldier with Asian originwas recently abused and beaten to death by other soldiers within the unit. Thisissue has caused an outcry about not only treatment of young soldiers, but alsomade people think about racial discrimination within the army. A few years ago,a soldier in Afghanistan killed tens of civilians including children. When thisscandal came out, it seriously questioned the legitimacy of the whole campaign.Scandals about sexual harassment and abuse of POWs are nothing new anymore. Itis worth noticing that there are indeed formal channels within the army toreport these kinds of wrongdoings. However, perhaps due to the suppression fromsenior commanders, or unwillingness to create discontent within the unit, fewof these cases were brought into daylight, until the mass media somehow knewabout these stories and made them pubic. Only after the release of the scandalsdid the general public realized how serious it is, and politicians went undergreat pressures for real reforms. In such situations, scandals are indeedhelpful as they accelerate the process of reform and change.
However, while we do have scandals that are helpful,more often than not we are distracted by useless scandals that distract ourattention. The sexual scandal of the former chief of IMF with a hotel cleanerdoes nothing helpful about the current chaos in the global financial market.Scandals like corruption are usually weapons against the political opponents,while the primary concern is not about justice. When Nixon was involved in thewater gate scandal, it did nothing but distract the public’s attention from thesituation in Vietnam and the increasing tension with the Soviet Union. Letalone scandals about movie starts and other public celebrities, and these scandalsdo nothing helpful but just to increase the circulation.
To sum up, we cannotgeneralize the situation by saying that all scandals are helpful. While somescandals are indeed helpful, in the sense that they help focus our attention onserious issues not previously known, other scandals are either just eyecatchers or distractors that serve not real purpose.