3/03/2008

Curse of celebrity

Whilst on a long and boring train journey home from Tralee on Sunday, I had nothing better to do than to read my girl friends women's mags. Apart from the problem pages, sex tips and half naked women I found other aspects of these mags interesting.

The one theme that recurred throughout each of the mags was the lack of privacy afforded to being a celebrity. I asked myself the question of whether all the fame and fortune is really worth the daily intrusion into the darkest depths of ones personal life.

We all know the type of thing I am referring to. The Naomi Campbell case, the Douglas case and countless others.

Celebrities with problems are nothing new. Indeed two of my musical heroes, Johnny Cash and Tammy Wynette had their own struggles. However in their era there was much less publicity and they were able to struggle in relative privacy.

Compare this to the modern day situation with Amy Winehouse. This young woman, whilst very troubled and in my opinion very stupid, is one of the most talented singers in the world to-day. Her rendition of Valerie is something quite out of this world. Should the media not concentrate on her amazing talents rather than on her personal misfortunes? Her triumph at the recent musical awards got some press coverage, but no where near the level of exposure that her drug problem and her husbands incarceration did.

Surely it is time that the media took a good long look at themselves. Their ebullience for a surfeit of sensationalism and gutter press has led to the ruination of many young and talented lives. They have reduced Britney Spears to an unrecognisable being, a far cry from when they were exalting her as the new darling of pop. There is a good chance that they will seek to do the same to her younger sister Jamie Lynn in light of her recent pregnancy.

A Wall St journalist by the name of O'Rourke once stated that "as a journalist I am absolved of responsibility". It is this cavalier attitude that needs to be tackled. Surely a new right to privacy should be introduced to help supplement the existing remedies. Perhaps then we will see the prevalence of sensible press!!

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