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Van Horn Advocate
Michael Jackson had an interesting interview with Barbara Walters last Friday on ABC's 20-20 television news magazine.
He was second behind Princess Diana in attracting the paparazzi as there is intense public interest about his life and his new son. Walters asked him why he sold pictures of the baby to a tabloid and he replied that it was to stop the clamor for pictures.
People who make their living and in some cases, a fortune, should realize that the public has a big appetite for news about them. These are fans, the people who create a market for their movies, music, etc.
I would think that these "stars" as well as other such as politicians and members of royal families would understand that their life is a public one, whether they want it to be or not.
I remember that Frank Sinatra was one of the first to complain about photographers invading his privacy some 40 years ago. I guess he and Elvis were the first mega stars then came the Beattles and nothing has been the same since.
I've tried to imagine what I would do if this would happen to me. The answer is that I don't know. I certainly wouldn't want to be a prisoner to me "fame" as many stars and public figures are. Look at what has happened to Jackson as well as what happened to Elvis Presley. Their private lives didn't exist, in Presley's and Princess Di's case, and in the case of Jackson, it doesn't exist.
I would like to think if the unlikelihood of my being famous, that I would be accessiable to the public but at the same time, I would like some privacy. I'm sure dealing with the press of crowds would get old as well as being grabbed by everybody you go by.
In my early days in the newspaper business, we had respect for the rich and famous. They gave us time for interviews and pictures and then we left them alone, at least from a business standpoint. On many occasions, many members of the media would hang out with celebrities and polticians but only on a friendly basis, nothing having to do with business.
Anything said and done was private.
Somewhere along the line, this fine line of private vs. public life has been crossed by the media and the public as well.
The interview I mentioned earlier between Jackson and Walters was held at a Paris Hotel. Supposedly, no one knew Jackson was there. Yet, by the time the interview was over, crowds had gathered outside waiting for Jackson to leave. He has to have a number of bodyguards.
It's a real shame that people have to hire body guards for their protection. A lack of her own body guard may have cost Princess Di her life but she refused to have one. The one body guard there was for her date.
The paparazzi seems to be hanging around to get pictures of people misbehaving and of course no one regardless of who they are wants to be caught on film doing something they aren't supposed to be doing or in a situation that isn't very flattering (such as Princess Di in a bikini when she was pregnant).
But, how far does the tabloid media - you'll notice how I categorized that group of so-called newspapers - have to go to let the public know what public figures are going? Where does the public's right to know end and privacy begin?
I don't know but the question will continue to rage around the world.
Editor's Note: Mac McKinnon is the publisher and editor of the Pecos Enterpirse whose column appears each Friday. He can be reached by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
I was wondering if any one ther knew a Rex Parsons? He was the owner of Parsons Lease Works and left the area around 1960. Thanks for any help.
Mac McKinnon, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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