Media Gossip Cheats Men and Capitalism

Katie Kieffer

6/6/2011 12:01:00 AM - Katie Kieffer
Lately, the media has been wetting the public’s appetite for gossip, handing out cupcake stories like Weinergate, Arnold’s affair, John Edwards’ alleged criminal infidelity and reports of Tiger Woods’ marital affairs still affecting his golf game.

Reporting scandal may be justifiable if public figures are criminals in addition to sinners. But, shouldn't "objective journalism" have some standards for reporting gossip? Extreme coverage of high-profile male cheaters misclassifies all men as deviants and mischaracterizes capitalism - which rewards innovation with money and power – as immoral.

Certainly, politicians and athletes are not "capitalists" or "innovators" on par with job-creators like Sam Zell, Steve Jobs and Ralph Lauren. However, journalists who do not understand capitalism automatically lump wealthy businessmen into the same category as political pervs and jocks on the prowl.

When journalists über-focus on stories of infidelity by high-power, wealthy males it tells the world that men are more prone to infidelity than women and capitalism turns men into sexual pigs faster than Michael Moore can stuff pigs-in-blankets down his throat.

Pop music reveals truths that the media refuses to admit: Some men may be proud players but the halos on their ladies’ heads are shams. “And, Rowl! These women all on the prowl...we want a lady in the street but a freak in the bed!” Usher and Ludacris belt out in “Yeah!” Meanwhile, New Boyz rap, “Oh, you a good girl? It’s cool, I play pretend too!” in their hit single, “Backseat.”

These lyrics speak to reality. It takes two to tango in the backseat of a Camaro and most promiscuous, high-profile men do not victimize good girls. Tiger Woods was not sexting Little Miss Innocent & Co., unless you consider Joslyn James guiltless.

Bottom line, both sexes are at fault and capitalism is not the only source of power. Entrepreneurs who attain success through innovation and hard work have power. So do politicians who grovel or bribe their way to the top.

The media often excuses female cheaters as innocent victims trying to support themselves while portraying men as domineering pigs. However, the latest research from the Association for Psychological Science shows that narcissistic confidence and power are the two traits linked to cheating and that men are no more likely to cheat than women.

One former escort, Veronica Monet, tells CNBC, “…One of the confusions for people is a man is paying for sex because he wants to tell the prostitute what to do, he wants to have power over her … and I’ve found that none of these things were true. It’s not about telling the prostitute what to do. It’s about giving up control and letting her take over…”

Contrary to the feminist claim that a glass ceiling and male dominance force low-income women into demeaning careers like high-end prostitution, research from the University of Arkansas shows that well-educated and affluent women are opting out of traditional marriage and the legal workforce and choosing high-end prostitution.

When a high-end prostitute accepts $20,000 cash from a married man she lures in via her professional website for a long weekend of “therapeutic one-on-one attention and hot, hot sex,” she is just as self-centered as her client. Narcissism, not confidence, drives a well-educated, affluent woman to destroy another woman’s marriage overnight.

The media’s incessant portrayal of rich and powerful men as victimizers weakens the institution of marriage and tells young women that it doesn’t matter if you’re a loyal beauty like Elin Nordegren or Maria Shriver, you are going to get played. So, you may as well play the field too. Media gossip tells young women: “Forget God. Forget fidelity. Forget reconciliation. Love is a lie.”

The mainstream media should embrace a higher journalistic standard and give positive celebrity marital stories more than 15 seconds of coverage: Stories like Seal and Heidi Klum renewing their vows six times or Phil Mickelson standing by his first and only wife during her battle with cancer instead of rushing into an Edwardesque fling or firing off sexts à la Woods to porn stars.

I challenge the media to acknowledge that women are just as prone to infidelity as men and that capitalism does not cause immorality. Capitalism allows for the free range of human action; we can choose to be greedy or generous. Ultimately, in a capitalistic society, it is up to us to choose how we will live.

If the media embraced higher standards and acknowledged reality, we could waste less time worrying about whether outliers like recently-married Rep. Weiner tweeted a picture of his junk to a Seattle woman and more time learning about inspirational entrepreneurs like David Frauenshuh, Kenneth Cole and David Green who have been faithful to their wives while creating jobs.