Would you have the strength to admit that you did something wrong? Something so terribly wrong that it
could result in being arrested or even being put in jail for years?
That’s exactly what 22-year-old Matthew Cordle did last week when he uploaded a video to YouTube
confessing to driving drunk and killing 61-year-old Navy Veteran, Vincent Canzani.
After the incident, Cordle met with attorneys who told him his blood test may be thrown out and after that
he would only need to lie to avoid punishment.
Cordle responded by making a video that would give prosecutors “everything they need to put [him] away
for a very long time.”
As a mass communication major, I am constantly being told how citizen journalism in the age of social
media is leaving traditional journalists out of a job.
People are tired of hearing processed news from biased sources owned by large media producers with
their own agendas.
In our media classes, we are taught to be fair, honest and unbiased in our approach to recording and
But Cordle’s confession brings up a whole new use for social media truth-telling: behaving like an honest,
decent human being and admitting your mistake for others to learn from.
Never before have we seen this kind of brutal, self-destroying honesty in such a public way.
We’ve become a society built on lies. Phrases like “weapons of mass destruction” and “when the
president does it, it’s not illegal” come to mind.
More recently is the Anthony Weiner scandal. Obama’s plans to pull troops from Iraq and Afghanistan
and the Assad regime over the use of chemical weapons make it difficult to believe in anything our leaders
have to say.
We’ve been lied to by politicians and presidents so often that hit television shows like “House of Cards,”
“Boardwalk Empire” and “24” all have a lying political figure as a central character.
“Politician” and “corruption” have almost become synonymous. We accept that fact, even though these
elected officials are fundamentally representing the voice of the American people.
I couldn’t believe the bravery of Cordle when I first saw the video. The way it begins by pixilating his face
and obscuring his voice, then gradually revealing his identity as he begins to confess.
Then I realized: he is simply confessing a mistake, something all human beings are bound to do in their
His mistake was far more awful than most people will likely commit, but even so, all he is doing is
What does it say about our society that we are shocked by the truth when we hear it?
Would we rather hear news from untrained citizen sources than from professionals with hidden agendas?
Would we begin to ignore our legal system because of its blatant corruption?
The answer isn’t easy to arrive at.
As a society we are taught to ignore our problems and lie when confronted.
Only if we are willing to stand up and reveal ourselves as human beings, will we ever begin to see
Cordle’s video is amazing, but not because he made it knowing it would get him in trouble.
Olivia Marovich / News editor
Olivia Marovich can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.