Answer, because they contain the six elements required to make a story stick around. According to Chip and Dan Heath of Made to Stick, for something to catch on and stick around in people’s minds, your product or story must contain six elements, they are as follows:
One, it must be simple. “He groped me,” yep, check this one off.
Two, it must be unexpected. Yep, the latest accusation against Republican Moore was not that he attacked a woman, but an innocent teen! Yep, check that one off.
Three, it must concrete. The message or accusation cannot be abstract, “He groped me,” is pretty clear.
Four, it must be credible. Just one accuser won’t cut-it any more with today’s skeptical audience, there must be more than one, and boy are these ladies lining up.
Five, it must be emotional. Lots of tissue paper and crying, yep, check that one off.
And finally, Six, stories. Yep, check that one off, each accusation has to come with a good story.
People love to talk and hear a good yarn today as much as in centuries past. Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press combined with a good story, the Ninety-Five Thesis, a trashing of the Catholic Church, was responsible for getting millions of illiterate Europeans to grab a copy of the pamphlet and learn how to read. The invention of the “wireless” the original name for the radio, was responsible for spreading the propaganda needed to fuel the Nazi machine.
Today, the internet is spreading the seeds of discontent, a centuries old common theme in mankind. The question is, how long will it last? When will it burn out?
The only good thing that came of the Gutenberg press combined with the reformation was, that it pulled people out of the dark ages. One can only hope that some good will come of these sex scandals; perhaps it will bring attention to other things we might fix, such as child sex-trafficking destroying our next generation, rent-seeking by big corporations that impedes good commerce. Or an end to billionaire socialist moguls who manipulate the media, we can only hope.