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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Candle In The Wind

I believe that ALL public figures deserve a certain level of privacy regardless of their situation, and I believe the media frequently goes too far pursuing information, photos and video of public figures.

HOWEVER, media has given singers, actors, professional athletes and politicians exposure to millions of people. The public, in turn, buys their music, watches their movies and tunes in to their sports contests. It is the public’s admiration of their personalities, their art or their athleticism that allows celebrities to become rich and famous. Therefore, I believe that public figures should make themselves available to the media to discuss their professions and issues related to their professions. I also believe that it is fair for celebrities to be questioned and scrutinized when they have broken a law or violated a widely-accepted principle. If the public is interested in their art or profession, then the public deserves a certain amount of information about their personal lives... but within reason.

It is difficult to draw a clear line and make a blanket statement for all celebrities and public figures. Several issues factor in to each individual situation. A few possible questions to consider... Is it in the public interest to report on a celebrity's personal life? Is the celebrity simply going about his daily life? Is the celebrity going through a difficult situation independent of his actions (e.g. death of a family member, serious disease or injury)? Is the celebrity facing personal problems related to his own actions (e.g. committed a crime, marital infidelity, controversial comment)? Does the celebrity welcome the attention?

Tiger Woods faced a great deal of scrutiny and questioning about his personal life following the revelation of his marital infidelity. While he brought the problems upon himself, his (and Elin's) problems were compounded by the fact that the whole saga was played out publicly. If a regular ol' John Q. Lunchpail had done the same thing, he would have been able to deal with his issues much more privately.

I believe that approaching a celebrity at his home is out of bounds. Approaching celebrities while they are trying to enjoy their private lives (dinner, beach, etc.) should be done with great discretion. And for private moments like the birth of a child or loss of a loved one, the media should allow the celebrity as much privacy as he asks for.

In cases of personal indiscretion or questionable judgment, then the celebrity has a certain level of accountability to the public whose admiration made the celebrity famous... again, within reason.

To summarize, I believe that public figures ARE subject to media attention... sometimes unwanted attention. But the media doesn't have carte blanche to snap photos and demand interviews at will, if it is an unreasonable invasion of the celebrity's privacy. Many believe that Princess Diana's relationship with the paparazzi was a contributing factor to her untimely death.

External Links;
The Age - "Shoot To Thrill"
Huffington Post - Farrah Fawcett On Media Intrusion


  1. Mike - I enjoyed reading your post and will agree with you 100%. The Tiger Woods story was heartbreaking knowing there were children involved in that mess. This was one story that I felt the details should not have been made public knowledge.

    Awesome post!

  2. Nice job, Mike. With all of the coverage of the Tiger Woods story, I saw a ticker this on the news this morning that his divorce is final. I found it strange that with all of the coverage, now that he is divorced, he is no longer a hot story.

  3. Nice post, I agree that media does bring alot of attention to public figures, sometimes it comes in a good way, but i feel for people like Tiger and all of his family. Going through a divorce is bad enough, but to have it all out there for the all the world to see, ouch.

  4. Thank you all for your comments. I really have mixed feelings about Tiger's problems playing out publicly. As Jason mentioned, going through a divorce is bad enough without it being done publicly. I also believe that Tiger and his marketing people created a public persona for him that really didn't reflect who he truly is.