The “Private” Lives of Celebrities

Letterman Extortion

By Nick Coluzzi

Nowadays, there doesn’t seem to be a bigger oxymoron.

Think about it.

Choose any actor/actress, politician or musician.  What don’t you know about him or her?  If you wanted to, you could find just about anything on that person.

Everyone knows that when you become a celebrity your private life is no longer private.  Some celebrities are famous because of their private lives; look at Paris Hilton, for instance.

While the reporting of celebrities’ private lives is sometimes justified, such as when a celebrity is out in public and making it known what they are doing, other details of celebrities private lives needs to stay just that: private.

Over the past week, late-night talk show host David Letterman admitted on his show of having sexual relations with his co-workers.  By taking matters into his own hands, Letterman did not allow the media to get a hold of this story first and run with it.  If the media got involved before Letterman admitted to doing what he did, this story would become a bigger issue than it needs to be.  Why?  Because the media likes to blow things out of proportion and expose the personal lives of celebrities.

By using his show as a press conference, Letterman beat both the man trying to extort money from him and the media from exposing this story.

In a perfect world one’s private life would remain private until such information is released by the person him/herself.  But this is not a perfect world and celebrities lives are way more interesting than the average person’s life.  Sometimes a celebrity needs to take matters into his/her own hands to control stories about their personal life.  In doing so, they can dilute the story and make it less of a big deal.


One response to “The “Private” Lives of Celebrities

  1. Content: 4 Fine ideas here on privacy and the media. It’s a tough call. Does the media report celebrity gossip because people buy it or do people buy it b/c media reports it? When you become a celebrity/politician do you implicitly accept a higher level of scrutiny? Some stars, particularly reality stars, invite cameras into their private lives. Where are the boundaries?

    Links: 2 These links are not terribly valuable. Most people know about TMZ and about Perez Hilton. What would be valuable is to discuss a specific story and then contrast how different sites report it. Which does the best job? Why? Do any sites/reporters work to keep a respectful distance on private lives?

    Since the death of Princess Diana, academics/professional news societies/journalists themselves discuss how far is too far when it comes to paparazzi. How about linking to a site where this is discussed? That would give reader more meat to chew.
    Grammar:3 Watch cliches (taking matters into his own hands, got a hold of)
    Watch parallel structure Sometimes a celebrity needs to take matters into his/her own hands to control stories about their personal life. Here the their is wrong. It should again be his/her. You can get around this by writing around it — write a sentence to avoid such an awkward construction.

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