Monday, September 21, 2009

Why are we rewarding bad behavior?

Were you watching President Obama’s health care speech to Congress when Republican Rep. Joe Wilson of South Carolina called the president a liar? You may agree or disagree with that charge, but inside the House chamber is not the place to make it.

Then there’s Kanye West. As Taylor Swift was giving a heartfelt acceptance speech for winning an MTV Video Music Award, West—with a bottle of booze in one hand and a microphone in the other—comes on stage and says Beyonce should have won instead.

Of course there’s the case of Serena Williams at the U.S. Open Tennis Championships. Upset by a call, she pulled a John McEnroe and threatened to ram a tennis ball down a lineswoman’s throat. (Accented by several expletives.)

The real stink about all this is that then I see both Kanye West and Serena Williams on network television “apologizing.” Coifed, made-up and contrite. Right.

Serena referred to her victim as “that lineswoman.” Does she have a name? And I do hope that Mr. Leno offers Taylor Swift a guest spot on his show sooner rather than later.

Rep. Wilson, and this isn’t a partisan statement in any way, should apologize on the House floor because he insulted the American people by his behavior.

All this, simply put, is bad behavior being accepted and rewarded.

No one is perfect, but when shameful and boorish behavior is rewarded by a guest spot on network television, things have gone terribly wrong in this country.

Back in the day, if I would have acted this way in school, it was a quick and unpleasant visit with the principal. At home, well let’s just say mom and dad had rules and they were enforced!

I know I’ve been on a tear the past few weeks about yelling and now politeness. But this used to be a reasonably civil country. We need to get back to basics, stop yelling and treat each other with respect.

You know, the golden rule.

We saw a great example of this at the Philadelphia Phillies game last week. Maybe you saw it. Dad caught a coveted foul ball then handed it to his little girl, who promptly tossed it back on to the field. It’s what little kids do. Was dad upset? Nah, he gave his daughter the most loving of hugs. Watch the video here.

Let’s follow his example, shall we?


John W. Scherer

John is CEO & Founder of Video Professor, Inc.

You can reach him at