Adam Lambert Is What Ails America Bad public behavior is behind pessimistic national mood By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff Posted Dec 18, 2009 5:50 AM CST 56 comments Comments Adam Lambert, left, gets ready to kiss one of the dancers as he performs during the closing act of the 37th Annual American Music Awards on Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles) (Newser) – America's in a funk and it's partly Adam Lambert's fault, according to Peggy Noonan. Polls show that pessimism is the prevailing national mood and that's got as much to do with fears about the direction of this country's culture as it does to do with economy, Noonan writes in the Wall Street Journal, pointing to Lambert's risqué American Music Awards performance as a prime example. Lambert's act—which included S&M play and same-sex makeouts—"left viewers feeling not just offended but assaulted," Noonan writes. Trying to protect children when that kind of performance is allowed on national television is making people exhausted and pessimistic, she argues, calling for hard questions to be asked about the direction of American culture. "Not everything in America comes down to money," Noonan concludes. "Not everything ever did."