Ken Bone was what many television viewers knew as the guy in a red sweater during the presidential debate. It seems as if after his appearance he became an adorable icon people couldn’t get enough of. Unfortunately, the situation for Bone went from up to down in one week after learning more about his interests and personal viewpoints on certain topics.
Bone got the attention of millions of television viewers during a presidential debate in October. The candidates didn’t seem to provide much information to viewers they didn’t already know, but when Bone asked a question related to energy policy, his innocent look seemed to encourage and remind people about the simple things. At this point, he was on his way to becoming an internet celebrity practically overnight.
Almost a celebrity
On social media memes started showing up featuring Bone, his red cable-knit sweater, and viewer comments went viral. Within days he was doing interviews on different television shows including the popular Jimmy Kimmel Live.
While Bone seemed to be the everyday guy he did what many people would have done if they had the opportunity; take advantage of it. As he would do so, the media would learn about his flaws that would send his popularity down the drain.
The sudden internet celebrity status was leveraged with other interests of Bone including trading Uber rides for a tweet and helping the homeless through t-shirt sales. His celebrity ride wasn’t too shabby for the middle-American many felt they could relate to him for. Remember, many of his benefits occurred just within a week of appearing on the presidential debate.
Careless comments and forged insurance
Bone, the beloved undecided voter, saw his status fall faster than a rock. It started with old comments dug up from his Reddit account from people over at Gizmodo.
The comments were on different topics including adult content responses and an open confession claiming he forged documents related to car insurance. There were also comments made to another person along the lines of advice for a vasectomy. Soon after, Ken would be questioned about something he said in regards to the shooting of Trayvon Martin.
Ken’s situation is just another example of problems within our culture. The everyday person becomes an overnight sensation by everyday people. The innocence we want to capture is seen through simplistic things such as a cute guy wearing a red sweater, eyeglasses, and a mustache.
People should think more about how we got to such an ugly point in our nation’s history to date. Yet, too often we expect such icons created by the everyday person to fail. This is a problem we created and need to fix.