The American paparazzi have been described by celebrities and the news media as scum-of-the-Earth—mean, intrusive scavengers who feast upon other people’s misery (Saltzman par. 4). Imagine taking a walk with your friends in a secluded hiking trail. You are trying to enjoy the peace and serenity that the beautiful day brings; however, as fortune has it, you are a celebrity. Along with your fame come people gazing and staring at you, and fans asking for pictures or autographs. Ultimately, causing a scene wherever you go. Yet today, you found some time alone to enjoy a few moments of solitude, or so you thought. Far off in the distance, you see a determined photographer ready to complete his ...view middle of the document...
According to writer Patrick J. Alach, “Construing the First Amendment in that fashion is much like giving a blank check to a child in a toy store-it inevitable leads to unabashed exploitation” (207). They have next to no limitations and if there are not many laws put in place to stop them, they will do whatever it takes to obtain pictures of celebrities. Paparazzi have the right to take pictures of people in public places. However, when it comes to some of them, “Shoving their zoom lens up their nostrils or taking action shots of their every step…” (“Photographer’s Rights par. 5) it is no longer within reason, and the paparazzi are taking advantage of this amendment.
Many celebrities in today’s society attempt to team up with modern day photographers to improve their image. By working with the paparazzi, celebrities are able to control what pictures are displayed to the public, and which ones are to be kept private. According to Kim McNamara, in 2000, actors Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas held a wedding in Manhattan; and in order to moderate the interest from the media, they sold pictures of their wedding to one magazine to be released to the public (9). It is not uncommon for celebrities to give up rights to their photos because then they are in charge of what the media interest sees (McNamara 11). Through these types of actions, the paparazzi can be seen as people who are only trying to help celebrities’ images. These performances portray the better side of the paparazzi. However, not all paparazzi, or even celebrities are willing to work together.
¬¬¬ In today’s world, much of the public have an insatiable appetite for celebrity news, which is fed by a willing media. Whether it is through newspapers, magazines, television, or especially the Internet, a staggering amount of information from all over the world is available. Many times the media sell and show “celebrity gossip” to attract readers and viewers. Various media also attract consumers by showing photos or video footage of famous personalities while they are out of the spotlight. Due to greater celebrity accessibility through mass media, “the public begins to feel as if they ‘know’ the individual and are entitled to be privy to their private lives” (Nordhaus 286). Since many people are interested in the lives of the celebrities, many in the press may think all of their actions are recognized and approved, thereby encouraging them to continue in their pursuits. However, there is a simple yet difficult solution to this dilemma.
If the audience were to disappear, if readers worldwide were to show their revulsion by refusing to patronize trash tabloids and their broadcast equivalents, the paparazzi and other scandal-sheet purveyors would be out of work tomorrow (Hindman 676).
Society is feeding the business of the paparazzi by picking up a magazine or reading the daily gossip online. The public’s interest is ultimately motivating and justifying the paparazzi.