BOSTON (CBS) - Pick your cliché about irresponsible behavior by young people - boys will be boys, youth is wasted on the young, and so on. You know the old joke: how do you tell if your teenager is lying? His lips are moving.
But that stuff loses it's meaning and humor when we're talking about Ryan Lochte, a grown man paid millions of dollars to endorse a range of products and, most importantly, an internationally-known representative of our country, who apparently thought it was o.k. to allegedly engage in a night of partying and vandalism capped off with an elaborate lie that slandered the city of Rio.
The story of what really happened to Lochte and three other U.S. Olympic swimmers in Rio is still being pieced together. And if it turns out that he did tell the truth, I can assure you I will apologize a lot more quickly than he seems prepared to do.
But if not, let's not shrug off Lochte's alleged behavior as some kind of boyish prank. The man is 32 years old. He has travelled widely, and been in the public eye for more than decade. This was his fourth Olympic games.
And yet he allegedly acted like a punk, damaged property, blatantly lied, embarrassed his own country and smeared his Brazilian hosts, not to mention distracting from his fellow athletes and their Olympic achievements.
Young people, pay close attention - Ryan Lochte is a world-class negative role model.
He is the ugly American personified. And his stupidity and arrogance, which will likely lead to the loss of everything he's worked for, is a teachable moment of how not to be.
for more features.