What the Sterling Controversy Says About Privacy in the Social Media Age
There’s new reaction today on the NBA’s lifetime ban for Clippers owner Donald Sterling after he was recorded by his mistress going on a racist rant. Along with a $2.5 million fine, it’s the harshest penalty ever issued by the league.
Today on Happening Now, Mediaite’s Joe Concha said that people have known for a long time that Sterling is a racist. “He’s a slumlord that wouldn’t allow blacks to live in his building.”
So why did it take a leaked recording for the NBA to take action?
Concha said it’s a pattern of privacy gone out the window. Take, for instance, Secretary of State John Kerry, who was secretly recorded comparing Israel to an "apartheid" state. Concha said, “No one cares now that it was a secret recording. All they care about is what Kerry said.”
He said the rise in this trend comes from technology like smart phones, which make it easier for people to record private conversations without the other person knowing.
It’s also happening in social media, Concha said, bringing up Anthony Weiner’s tweeting scandal that caused him to resign. “We very well could have a Mayor Weiner, Mayor Carlos Danger. But he gets in trouble. Why? Twitter.”
He pointed out that in the book "Game Change," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) was quoted as saying that then-candidate Barack Obama could win because was “light-skinned” and had “no negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.” It was only after the book was published that Reid apologized for his remarks.
Concha surmised that there may be various reasons why Reid got away with his racially insensitive remarks, including possible bias because he’s a Democrat.