Think we really know about any public figure?

The tragedy of Jerry Sandusky’s crimes highlights something always useful to recall. How much we don’t really know about public figures.

Imagine you had been asked to answer the question below in secret, as part of a Malcolm Gladwell-like ‘blink test,’ anytime before 2011:

Which one of the two coaches pictured below could you imagine to be so consumed by his career, that he might consider covering up humiliating, or even criminal facts, to protect his image?

Bottom line, we can either take or leave the people in politics, books, movies or sports for what they do in their fields. But we just can’t pretend that following anything from a distance can give us any real sense about the people we are observing.

In future blog posts we’ll try to highlight why anyone would have been predisposed to think poorly of Jimmy Johnson in comparison with Joe Paterno. Examples are welcome.

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About Jorge Costales

- Cuban Exile [veni] - Raised in Miami [vidi] - American Citizen [vici]
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