Indeed, it's an era of fear, backstabbing, and very little truth telling:
"All of which works well and even passes for excitement in the cleaned-up, idiosyncrasy-free, risk-averse atmosphere we are living in now. Nobody in politics, still less in business life, can afford an out-there personality. Between the new corporate governance terrors and the hazards of seeing a career-wrecking quote taken out of context, who wants to risk hiring a person with a dangerous new idea? Every word out of a public figure's mouth is a hostage to fortune. Every private e-mail is a bomb that could blow up your life.
No corporation wants a lip flap like that of Harvard President Larry Summers, whose faculty dealt him another blow Tuesday with a vote of no confidence, or ex-CNN chief news executive Eason Jordan's reckless ruminations at Davos about the military targeting journalists. Sex at the office used to be one of the things that made going to work worthwhile, but not anymore since a Boeing e-mail snoop caused the board to can the highly successful, 68-year-old CEO Harry Stonecipher for his lapse with a company executive who wasn't even in the same town.
We are in the Eggshell Era, in which everyone has to tiptoe around because there's a world of busybodies out there who are being paid to catch you out -- and a public that is slowly being trained to accept a culture of finks. We're always under surveillance; cameras watch us wherever we go; paparazzi make small fortunes snapping glamour goddesses picking their noses; everything is on tape, with transcripts available. No matter who you are, someone is ready and willing to rat you out. Even the rats themselves have to look over their shoulders, because some smaller rat is always waiting in the wings. Bloggers are the new Stasi. All the timidity this engenders, all this watching your mouth has started to feel positively un-American."