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Dallas Morning News Story on Jessica Lynch Controversy Quotes Prof. Jeff McCall '76

November 12, 2003

November 12, 2003, Greencastle, Ind. - "This media melodrama demonstrates the dangers when a private citizen is suddenly transformed into a public celebrity," writes Tom Maurstad of the latest chapter in the Jessica Lynch saga in today's Dallas Morning News, a story that includes analysis from a DePauw University professor. Yesterday, newscasts were dominated by a report that nude pictures had surfaced of Lynch, a former prisoner of war. "In the Girls Gone Wild times we live in, a lapse in judgment can become international news, fodder for an ever-growing industry of scandal entertainment," Maurstad writes.

The article continues, "'Ordinary people don't tend to live their lives as if there's always someone watching. And as we're seeing when someone is suddenly the center of the media's attention, that can come back to haunt them,' said Jeffrey McCall, a communications professor at DePauw University in Indiana. In our scandal-mad culture, where missteps and indiscretions have been turned into commodities, sudden celebrities such as Pfc. Lynch aren't the only ones paying a price. 'I worry about what it's doing to us,' Dr. McCall said. 'I think things like this reinforce the belief that there are no pure heroes anymore. You know –- the home-run king probably uses steroids.'"

You can access the complete story at the Morning News' Web site by clicking here (a free registration is required).

Jeff McCall is a 1976 graduate of DePauw. Read about his recent op-ed column on the Federal Communications Commission by clicking here.

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