By: Dylan Brennan, Columnist
Whatever your political leanings, you cannot disagree that one winner of the second presidential debate was Ken Bone: a man who was relatively unknown but suddenly became an internet sensation within two minutes of asking his question. The fact that his name was a very popular trend on social media even before the debates were over says a lot about the man. Who can say why he became so popular? Maybe because he was such a soft-spoken person? Maybe it’s because he looks like Ned Flanders if he was on “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.”
Whatever the case may be, I’m disturbed to report that the same people who brought him to fame are now seeking to bring him to infamy — and ruin his life.
You see, if you get your name in the headlines, especially that fast, people on the internet will vet you whether you know it or not. Many people dug up Bone’s Reddit handle and tracked down everything he said since he joined. His comments over the past few years certainly aren’t as huggable and lovable as he may appear. The one most people seem to be roasting him for is his take on the Trayvon Martin shooting, which he called “justified.”
But don’t let this make him sound like a racist, like many misleading media moguls would lead you to think. He has made explicit insults about George Zimmerman, saying he’s a piece of human trash and that the incident should never have gone that far to begin with.
He’s also flip-flopped on his stances regarding certain social issues. He acted like a lewd pervert when referring to the hot-button Jennifer Lawrence nude photos, but has said heartwarming sentiments such as this: “Blaming a victim or assigning a woman value based on how ‘used’ she is will never be anything but disgusting. Your value has not changed due his words, or any assault you have endured. You are still valuable.”
There is the chance that maybe he wasn’t even being serious on some of these posts. It is Reddit after all, and some people sensationalize their comments just for attention.
That’s not to say all of his political or social views are why people are making fun of him. Many of his personal — and I mean personal — things have been reported, such as his fetish for pregnant women. Has our media gotten so low that we take people who got less than fifteen minutes of fame and ruin their reputations forever? Who are we to make fun of this man just because he has a few unusual likes? Doesn’t he deserve privacy?
I find it disturbing that within less than a week, the media or internet or whoever made him a star in the first place is now trying to ruin his life. This is an everyday American citizen going about his daily life whose only public accomplishment was asking a question to the future president.
He isn’t the one running for president, so why do we have to analyze him with the same fine-tooth comb we drag our candidates through? And clearly he isn’t as bad as some would make him sound. Sure, he has opinions that may differ from yours, but he does deserve decent human dignity and respect. The media should think carefully before bringing personal information into the national spotlight. It seems like typical tabloid journalism (for which people have an endless appetite). I feel that these scathing criticisms of one citizen are completely unwarranted. He didn’t ask to be in the spotlight, and don’t think you’re any better than he is for him having opinions and interests you don’t agree with.