Wednesday, January 30, 2008

John B Thompson-Freedom of the Press??

John B Thompson-Freedom of the Press?
"There is considerable force in the argument that the struggle for an independent press, capable of reporting and commenting on events with a minimum state of interference and control, played a key role in the development of the modern constitutional state. Some of the early liberal and democratic thinkers, such as Jeremy Bentham, were fervent advocates of the liberty of the press. They saw the free expression of opinion through the organs of independent press as a vital safeguard against the despotic use of state power."

The right of press freedom, the first amendment of the "Constitution!!!!

Due to the reputation of paparazzi as an annoying, aggressive and intrusive, some states, not many and even some countries (particularly within Europe) restrict their activities by passing laws and curfews, and by planning events in which paparazzi are allowed to take photographs. In Germany and France, photographers need the permission of the people in their photographs to even snap one picture. The question of the day is, can these restrictions been seen as not withholding the laws of the First Amendment? I believe by passing laws that restrict their activity in public places does not violate the First Amendment.

In 1997 Princess Diana was being pursued by paparazzi when her car reamed out of control and crashed into the side of a tunnel. This led to the death of both her and Dodi Al-Fayed, her boyfriend. Her death resulted in widespread publicity and demanded calls for legislation to restrain the paparazzi. Especially the ones who chase celebrities in the middle of the night with hopes of catching a photo, which they can sell for large amounts of cash. This is disgusting and so disturbing.

Paparazzi are resented because of their ability to badger Lindsey, Brittany and others for hopes of capturing a glimpse of them at their worst moments and invading their privacy. We are all allowed to have privacy. These photo's depict them to the public in such negative and degrading ways, without anyone understanding what is behind their troubles. Most of these people "paparazzi" are animals and are protected by freedom of speech and of the press granted by the First Amendment. The subjects of their photographs are public figures and therefore are subject to public scrutiny, I do not believe so.

The United States should intervene and pass anti-paparazzi laws. There has to be some kind of control. California’s new law is specific to pictures and recordings of celebrities. "According to the statute, which is codified as California Civil Code section 1708.0, the law creates liability for "physical" and "constructive" invasions of privacy through photographing, videotaping, or recording a person engaging in a "personal or familial activity.

The U.S. Constitution does not openly and plainly provide for a right of privacy or for a general right of personal autonomy, but the Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that a right of personal autonomy is implied in the "zones of privacy" created by specific constitutional guarantees. Freedom of the press however, is absolutely addressed in the Constitution. The First Amendment gives the press the right to publish information, thoughts, and opinions without restraint or censorship, but at what price should the models pay and how much should they suffer. Someone needs to be held accountable for their actions.


At 7:31 PM, Blogger frankie g said...

i agree with everything you say. their is nothing about your blog that i don't agree with. i agree

At 9:44 PM, Blogger A. Mattson said...

A good post. Good choice of quotation.

The right to privacy in the U.S. constitution protects citizens from an intrusive government. I don't think that the founding fathers ever envisioned the paparazzi problem that you are discussing. Diana is a tragic story but she is an exceptional example. The Fourth Amendment has a very different function.


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