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Politics and child's play

For a long time, it's been a sort of amusing sideblow of politics: to see the children of our leaders act -- well, like kids -- and embarass their parents.

But nowadays, with the advent of the internet and the resulting shrinking of the news cycle and the whole world, it's now being done at the speed of light.

Al Gore's son gets busted for speeding and drunk driving. No big deal, really. Kids do dumb things. It's part of the definition of being a kid.

But in Massachusetts, a couple of youngsters have brought "embarassing Daddy" into cyberspace.

State treasurer Tim Cahill has, among his duties, the oversight of the state's Alcohol Beverage Control Commission. Among their responsibilities is the prevention of underage drinking.

The kind of drinking that Cahill's 19-year-old daughter boasted about on her MySpace page -- until it was noticed.

And last week, former Republican-turned-Independent and gubernatorial candidate Christy Mihos was unpleasantly surprised to learn his daughter had a Facebook page -- and in that, had pictures of her and her mother celebrating her younger brother's 21st birthday, toasting the young man with adult beverages.

Cahill's comment on the matter was to say he had chosen not to read his daughter's page, seeing it as an extension of a physical diary and therefore private. Unfortunately, she didn't feel the same way, and so he was quite possibly the last person in the world to know what she was saying there.

Obviously this is nothing worth bludgeoning Cahill or Mihos over. But it should serve as a damned good wake-up call to parents that respecting your child's privacy may be a laudable goal, deliberately blinding yourself from their own all-too-public proclamations is just begging for problems.

Comments (4)

and in that, had p... (Below threshold)
and in that, had pictures of her and her mother celebrating her younger brother's 21st birthday, toasting the young man with adult beverages.

I'm lost here. If the brother is 21 and he is younger than his sister, then both are of age. The fact that they are drinking "adult beverages" doesn't seem like a big deal to me. Is there something more to this story that makes it a controversy? Is Mihos a tea-totaller or a Muslim or Mormon?

Never, ever write anything ... (Below threshold)

Never, ever write anything you'd be embarrassed to read on the front page of a newspaper (better still, never DO anything you'd be ashamed to read about...). I hope the modesty and reticence come back into style soon. It's telling that one of the most-used acronyms is TMI--too much information.

In vaguely-sorta related ne... (Below threshold)

In vaguely-sorta related news, one of the useless Republican candidates running against Hillary here (KT McFarland) in NYS has 'suspended' her campaign indefinitely in light of her 16-year-old daughter being caught shoplifting. This would leave the equally useless Spencer opposing the Clinton juggernaught. The state GOP has about as much pull in the state as I do. It's seriously bad.

In even-less related news, George Pataki took a day off from campaigning for president in Iowa (I guess it might be news to those outside of NY that Pataki thinks he should be President and seems to think that nonstop campaigning in Iowa is the way to reach that goal...his wagon is hitched to ethanol and off he goes) to do the right thing in the state courts. Liberals and Democrats (translated as 'everyone' in the press) have been calling for Pataki to renominate a black Democratic judge to the Court of Appeals, even though he is restricted by the State Constitution to serving only one more year and must retire at the age of 70. Next year Eliot Spitzer will be governor and would obviously appoint a Democratic judge. It's a real win-win for liberals and Democrats, they'd get a Democrat on the bench now, keep a Democrat on the bench starting next year (14-year terms), and get to keep a black guy on the State's highest court (do not for a minute expect that I can explain to you why the Court of Appeals is the highest court and State Supreme Court is the lowest court). They appealed to his 'aw, be nice to the old guy' side, but mostly they said it would be racist for this Republican governor to not, basically, appoint a Democratic judge for the next decade and a half in favor of 'another white guy' just because this guy is black. Oddly, Pataki did the right thing and appointed a well-qualified Republican who, yes, is a white guy.

Maybe this belongs in Wizbang Politics...if so, sorry.

See, though, with a diary, ... (Below threshold)
B. Minich:

See, though, with a diary, there is an expectation of privacy that can be enforced. Chances are that parents are the only ones who even have a shot at reading their daughers diaries (or annoying brothers).

On the internet is different. Mr. Cahil should have realized that this isn't a diary, its a diary projected onto a movie screen that anyone can see for free - the only obsticle is them finding it. You can't treat blogs and diaries the same way - one is much more public than the other.






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