WHAT WILL HAPPEN THIS WEEK IF A PUBLIC FIGURE GOES TO A GATHERING, GIVES UTTERANCE OF SOMETHING POTENTIALLY OFFENSIVE OR MISLEADING, AND THEN MAKES HEADLINES
The public figure will feel a great swelling inside. Apprehension will be coupled with contrition.
He will realize this is going to become his fifteen minutes of fame, that no other vote or speech or action would have, and he will prepare himself.
He will talk at length with his lawyer and/or publicist.
He will become fidgety, though, very fidgety.
He will see his face in the paper and see his own face on television and see his own face on the internet again and again.
He will receive many phone calls, letters, emails.
On some days he will fill the need to go for a drive alone and to nowhere in particular, and on some days he will not.
He already has to change his schedule, but he is now free of most of his speaking engagements for a while. He will have to delete all his social media.
An old college buddy will say things about him he had previously promised not to mention.
Many hashtags concerning him will circulate, some of them uproarious, others not.
The President will stand behind a podium and denounce the public figure’s speech act, without actually saying his name. A talkshow host will stand in front of a coffee table and remind everyone about Political-scandal-of-the-month-Gate.
A para-church organization will raise twenty thousand dollars for the public figure to pay lawyer fees. Someone is getting sued for psychological damages.
Folks will shrug their heads.
The Constitutionality of the President’s election will be called into question.
The public figure will being seeing a counselor, but not the same counselor as the person he committed his speech act toward.
The public figure will issue a formal apology, prepared by his publicist.
The First Amendment will enter the conversation.
Ten Commandments will enter the conversation.
The Geneva Convention will be cited.
Lao Tzu will be cited.
Maya Angelou will be cited.
Chuck Norris will be prompted to comment on the situation.
Pat Robertson will be prompted.
Phil Robertson will be prompted.
Ted Nugent will be interviewed on Fox News. Al Sharpton will appear on MSNBC that same morning.
Another politician will make a misstatement about how one can acquire AIDS.
A news anchor will ask what the difference is between bisexual and transgender.
In his first interview on a subject other than his original comment, the public figure will name his favorite band to listen to while doing his exercise routine, prompting that band to diss the public figure and call him several names.
Bill Nye will pause during a seminar to do a short PA.
Michael Richards will think back on the darkness.
An article will appear on BuzzFeed on the trauma the public figure endured, highlighting his public shaming as case study in a pandemic of soiled reputations.
The para-church organization who raised money for the public figure will declare bankruptcy.
A blog post will direct our attention toward some other issue far more important. Nobody will read it.
The public figure will get a little cocky and write an article in Blaze about the War on _____________. He will use the word “nazi,” and refer to “the media” in a pejorative fashion.
Glenn Beck will go on the radio and accuse Reddit of making it worse. He will use the word “nazi,” and refer to “the media” in a pejorative fashion.
Heath Ledger’s Joker meme will tell us that nobody is batting an eye about something else.
This is Mike Huckabee’s fault, we will be told.
A Harper Lee quote in there somewhere.
A politician running for reelection will restate a campaign goal to legislate for or against the values of the public figure. He will fare well in the polls, either way.
John McCain will lament.
Donald Trump will redirect the conversation back toward women.
Sarah Palin will say that it was no big deal she conflated Zambia with Africa. Tina Fey will reappear on Saturday Night Live.
Rand Paul will argue that there needs to be a stronger border.
Bill Maher will call Christianity stupid.
A Kentucky town clerk will be photographed shooting a gay lion while eating Subway with Tom Brady and Kanye West.
The public figure—remember him?—will breathe a sigh of relief.
A month later, the public figure who said the remark in the first place will pose for pictures with babies. He will speak to a school named after a President, accompanied by a senator who will be running for President, and both will be seen wearing a hard hat and shaking hands with an ecologically sound entrepreneur.
At some point, the public figure who said the remark will sit down to Thanksgiving dinner with his lesbian niece. She will have just returned from Europe. Some politician over there, she will say, said something outrageous about Muslims. I hear the economy in Greece is in shambles, her uncle, the public figure, will say.