I wrote what follows perhaps 5-6 years ago and in light of Wiki-Leaks now, The Donald, the Russians, etc., it might be well to remember that the more things change, the more things stay the same:
Mark Goodson and Bill Todman were TV show producers (the brains behind the shows) in the early 50s and onward. They set in motion shows that are still on now like "The Price is Right" and "Family Feud" along with memorable shows like What's My Line, Beat the Clock, and of course "I've Got a Secret".
I've Got a Secret premiered in the very early 50s during the Korean War and McCarthy - the Senator from Wisconsin who saw a commie behind every tree. The country was fresh from WWII and it is no coincidence that TV shows had names that were clever double entendres and themed to keeping "secrets".
We flash forward from a time of decompression; from total war to Viet Nam and Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers and the uproar that those caused. We knew that the government had secrets it kept from the population but somehow, rightly or wrongly, became convinced that the public had a right to know anything and everything. - like playing I've Got a Secret with the answer written on the contestant's forehead - a reverse liars poker if you will.
Aided in the leaking of secrets is of course human nature. We are gossips. We also like the spotlight be it on stage with a key line that turns the entire play (Wherefore art thou Romeo?), a cocktail party (I'd like you to meet Henry, he works for some hush hush agency), or just someone in everyday life "I saw Myrna at the market today and you know what?" Divulging gives us the microphone. It is narcissism to the extreme.
Now we have Wiki-leaks. A quarter million documents are flooding out there - documents that, right or wrong, were at the very least confidential and at most "secret". The leaker, one Jullian Assange, claims he is doing a good deed by uncovering bad things. For some strange reason I'm not torn about this. I think he is wrong and what he has done and is doing is beneath contempt.
I know I can't have it both ways. When Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers, I was decidedly pro-American and anti-war. I thought him a patriot morally but a criminal in action. I just think Assange is a criminal; and the best thing anyone in the press could have done or do is just ignore him and what he is peddling. But this is the Internet age and it is not possible to stop this train.
I'm also disturbed by this endless game of "I've Got a Secret". It was invented when things took time, questions, give and take and just clever digging. Now it just takes someone with no sense of responsibility and a psychopathic narcissism who just wants attention.......
.....and that can be or apply to any one of a number of people.