When is thirst for getting “the scoop” crossing the line?

will-smith-slaps-reporterI’ll admit it. I love celebrity gossip. In fact, it’s one of my guilty pleasures. When I was reading through news stories this morning, even I had to face the brutal truth: the paparazzi has gone too far to get a story.

I read two different articles online about a “journalist” (yes, they want to be called “journalists”, not the paparazzi title they so aptly deserve) who not only was able to break through a security barrier to physically attack actor Brad Pitt, but this same “journalist” also climbed under the dress of America Ferrera at The Palais des Festivals during the How to Train Your Dragon 2 premiere.

Look, I’ll admit I love to read celebrity dirt. I enjoy the scandals…and the feel good stories – the sort where you find out an already beloved star quietly gives back without the need to publicize their good deeds. At some point though, enough is enough.

When these “journalists” chase down celebrities for the so-called “money shot”, putting everyone at risk…I have an issue. When they relentlessly hound stars with small children, going as far to follow them to parks and yell out offensive questions…they’ve crossed a line between journalism and stalking.

The offender in both above mentioned cases was none other than Vitalii Sediuk, a Ukranian “journalist”, who in the past has been slapped by Will Smith for trying to kiss him on a red carpet, crotch-hugged Bradley Cooper at a premiere and stormed the Grammys stage during Adele’s acceptance speech.  Do you see a pattern here?

I can see both sides of the argument. I’ve even made excuses for the paparazzi.

“(Insert celebrity name) wanted to be famous. It’s part of the game” or “Why are the complaining? They make millions of dollars?”.

It wasn’t until I started writing professionally that I understood their need for privacy – and I realize how violated they must feel when every their every move is captured by the blurring clicks of a camera. Every moment – good or bad – is captured on film and posted everywhere. I’m a small time author and I guard my privacy with an iron fist. I can’t imagine being caught in line at my local coffee shop, dressed in yoga pants and a tee, plastered all over every single news media site, every flaw on display.

As I wrap up this article, I leave you with a thought. How much information is too much? When is the line crossed? Vitalii Sediuk not only did it, but he did it in such an invasive, offensive way I am truly appalled.

Alexandra Anthony is the award-winning author of eight books and was featured in USA Today for her fourth book, Ascend www.alexandra-anthony.com

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