Tuesday, July 21, 2009

There is a line

I have wrestled with this and I am not on tv every day. What happened to Erin Andrew's is just wrong and whoever did this should have to not only go to jail, but pay. I am not sure what a proper punishment would be actually, but something public and equally has humiliating.

I think being a public figure puts you in the public eye, actors, actresses, TV personalities, all choose to give up or trade away some of their privacy. They will be photographed while out on the town, at public events and award shows. They will be asked to make appearances and their life will be up for some level of public scrutiny. That said, I believe there should be some limits. While I do not advocate censorship, I think journalists and new agencies should have the decency to at least ask themselves, is this germane to this person's life as a celebrity or am I cashing in, is this photo exploitive or am I invading their privacy and I crossing an ethical line. I think they should think about how they would like public details of their life splashed across the pages of their publication.

While I am neither famous nor notorious, I have given this much thought. How much of my life is mine and how much of it belongs to my family. I am living out loud, writing and publishing what I can, when I can. I enjoy having my words out there for public scrutiny. My words, not my entire life. There are things which I keep private. It is my right to draw that line. It is everyone's right to draw that line. Public officals, politicans and celebrities trade away some of that and have to move the line a bit, but at no point is their private life fair game. Their children deserve privacy. I remember Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman keeping their divorce private to protect their childrens' privacy. They are the celebrities, not their children.

When I heard about this horrible breech of Erin Andrew's privacy I shuttered, literally shuttered. No one deserves to have their privacy invaded and certainly not in this manner. No one. As a society we should not condone stealing someone's email, reading their mail, snapping photos of them sunbathing pool side, at their home via helicopter. We should not condone hidden cams and certainly not filming them via their hotel room peep hole.

We have a some serious issues culturally and while I am not advocating censorship, I think sensational "journalism" has fueled a cult of celebrate so fierce and so demanding that as a society we have forgotten about things like decency and decorum and good old fashion common sense.

And a word to those people who rushed to view the stolen pictures of Erin on the internet, shame on you, shame on you. You are now a party, in my opinion, to the crime which was committed. I hope you remember what you did, next time you check into a hotel room. I wonder who might be watching you? You would not allow your neighbor to peek into your windows - that is a crime and you would call this person all sorts of names. Hidden cams and footage on the internet is no different, the only difference instead of one sicko get his/her rocks off, millions had access.

There is a line and it was crossed.

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