The Observer is a Student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame & Saint Mary's. Learn more about us.



Full Disclosure

Douglas Farmar | Thursday, September 17, 2009

Columnists are supposed to be original and not write about stories that get twice the coverage they deserve. But then again, presidents aren’t supposed to call people “jackass.”

If you have immersed yourself too deeply into the Notre Dame bubble, let me clue you in. Sunday night Taylor Swift won a VMA for “Best Female Video.” In the midst of her acceptance speech, Kanye West took the microphone and said, “Yo Taylor, I’m really happy for you. I’ll let you finish, but Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time.” Kanye then walked off the stage.

Before an interview officially began on Tuesday, President Obama called Kanye a “jackass.”

An ABC reporter immediately leaked the President’s words onto Twitter, and ABC has since apologized to the White House, as the comment was meant to be “off the record.”

News flash: there no longer is anything “off the record.” The recorders no longer turn off. Publicity is only a Facebook status or tweet away. Anything anyone does is fair game. And I say this as an aspiring journalist who would like to believe the opposite.

But millions recently saw ESPN’s best-looking reporter completely nude thanks to a video shot through a keyhole.

In the past few years nearly half of our nation’s elected officials have faced public ridicule for hiring prostitutes, living a double life in Argentina, soliciting sex in an airport bathroom, or some combination of the three.

Every college student in the country has been lectured a dozen times about putting certain pictures online. Yet we all still do it, and will someday supposedly be fired when the picture involving too few clothes and too many roommates appears in our boss’ e-mail.

There no longer is a safe zone known as “off the record.” Forget about encrypted passwords, deadbolts, or safe words.

Personally, I am going to embrace it. Let me be the first to admit, without too many details, I have done things I am not proud of, I have said things I should not have, and I will do both again many times in my lifetime. In fact, look at my headshot. My hair is a bit shorter, and I’m usually more rested than I was then, but that is close to what I currently see in the mirror. So now you even have a face to match to my words.

I liked Janet Jackson’s nipple piercing. Taylor Swift’s music hurts my ears, and Michael Floyd’s hair is a disgrace to his athletic abilities.

Mr. President, if you think Kanye West is a jackass, don’t hide. Say it loud and proud. No need for any of us to hide anymore. There is nowhere left to hide.