By Sissela Bok
A speech delivered by author and philosopher Sissela Bok, on March 29, 1990, at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, as part of the Shorenstein Center’s conference “School for Scandal: Lessons for the Politicians and the Press.” Bok addresses voters mistrust of and disillusionment with government, as well as an obsession with scandal. “At the very time when politicians, reporters, and citizens seem to have become obsessed with scandal, they also seem strangely inured to abuses and to societal needs that would otherwise constitute intolerable scandals. And just when peoples the world over look to our democratic traditions for guidance in how to safeguard fundamental rights, many in our own country feel trapped in a vicious circle of manipulative and trivializing political discourse,” she argues. Bok provides guidance for how citizens, politicians and the press can move forward.