Grauer: Tunnel vision
By attempting to flip disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong from a sports villain into a local hero, an Aspen Daily News columnist fell flat on the mat.
It is the public that “manufactured” him as a villain, Roger Marolt contends, using an ethical jujitsu that defies gravity. (Marolt, “We can’t fail this random test,” Jan. 17)
The impaired vision that prevents him from seeing the damage that Armstrong’s refusal to admit that cheating, lying, and doping are wrong under any circumstances is tunnel vision. It may be a form of blindness caused by celebrity and wealth’s brilliant attraction still attaching to Armstrong.
That same tunnel vision seems to have impaired the Aspen Education Foundation in choosing Armstrong as a “celebrity fundraiser” and proclaiming him a public-education benefactor.
The only harm that Marolt can pin on Armstrong is a few fans whose trust in the sport was broken. We are to forget about the bogus lawsuits and the vicious public attacks that Armstrong unleashed on critics and journalists trying to unmask a fraud as big as Bernie Madoff.
How could Marolt’s moral compass become so skewed that he can’t find the foundation’s flawed double message? It put Armstrong on a pedestal, while claiming that educators can still effectively teach personal responsibility and respect for the truth.
The take-home message for students is, “Do what I say, not what I do.” Every parent and educator knows how effective that is for instilling moral values and behavior.