Tuesday, December 2, 2008

This is not journalism

Apparently some "newspaper" person placed a tracking device on Simon Cowell's car. His lawyers warned the press in general about harassment, and I have to say that I think this steps well beyond any bounds of reasonable journalism.


Now, Simon Cowell is a subject of legitimate public interest, but that interest stops well short of stalking the man. He has less expectation of privacy than the average person, but that doesn't mean he has no expectation of privacy at all. Frankly, I'm surprised that anyone thought this was a good idea. That, of course, is the problem today in many media circles, a lack of judgment about what is newsworthy and what is now.

At the same time that we have celebrities like Cowell being stalked we have serious problems such as the financial mess, the erosion of civil liberties by the government and unexamined questions about war and terrorism. Important stuff gets ignored and we have media overattention to trivia. Really, in the grand scheme of things are Simon Cowell's movements worth tracking by anyone? Who could possibly care?

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