Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Voyeurism: 1, Privacy: 0

*Photo taken from Madre's Missives.

Yesterday, various news agencies & all social media outlets were tripping over themselves reporting Ricky Martin’s revelation of his sexual orientation. Unless you’ve been living in Amish country, the fact Ricky is a homosexual was no surprise.

I find it quite unfortunate that today; a public figure’s orientation still makes news. I’m even more chagrined to realize that artists, athletes, politicians and whoever is People magazine material carries the burden of having to share such intimate detail of their life. Why must it become public domain and by-the-water-cooler-topic-material? Why do reporters still feel the need to even ask the question?

Reality is the consumer, the fan, the constituent – absolutely doesn’t care. If like me you grew up on 80’s British pop, did you ever wonder (or cared) about the sexual orientations of Morrissey, Boy George or Howard Jones? No, you didn’t until some nosy and uninspired journalist brought it up and you were old enough or so savvy that you understood the innuendos in his or her news report.

Private life is private life. If the media stops prying, the public will not have the now innate need to want to know every.single.bloody.private.detail of today’s public figures. I bring it all back to Tiger Woods. Had Tiger’s wife Elin been diagnosed with breast cancer, we would have absolutely respected Tiger’s privacy. He would have issued a statement that goes a little something like this: “Thank you for your good wishes. This is a private family matter and we ask that you respect our privacy in this difficult time”. Boom. End of story. But now, and much to my disappointment, Tiger crumbled under tabloid pressure and did a series of ill-advised public statements when in reality, the only statement he should have issued (via press release) should have been: “This is a private matter. Otherwise, I’m still the number 1 golfer on Planet Earth. Let me get back to golf and get off my jock”.

The media needs to learn when to scream uncle. The audience will follow.

Sometimes (rarely), Barbara Walters gets it wrong … but she recognized it.

Most of the time, she’s right on point:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Another good one. Time for you to go to print.