There is nothing wrong with investigative journalism, and to some extent, sensationalism when it comes to public figures and an often twisted opinion of what the public’s right to know really involves.
Is it, for example, the public’s right to know what Prince Harry looks like in the buff? And beyond that, it is the right of any person to snap a photo of the other and then make Pell-mell money by peddling the photos to rags?
Warner Brothers Entertainment first registered TMZ.com, the online source that proudly displayed Harry’s au naturale for all of us to relish, on 15 February 1996, over fifteen years ago. A look at the rag’s current online mast shows socially-edifying headlines like link to news about Kardashian’s buttocks and all American Idol news that loyal Americans need, absolutely, to be told about. In short, don’t human beings have something better to do that sit down with beer and potato chips TMZ onscreen, and munch their way through a lifetime of hardly enviable reality?
I’d like to think so. I’d like to think that not some of our “rock solid” mainstream investigative reporters might have the resources to hunt down that erstwhile photographer with the cell phone who took Harry’s photos – literally took as thief and not just in the photographic sense – to illuminate the personality behind the action. From the proximity of the shots, it is very likely that a young female might be involved, but who knows? The main point in all of this for anyone with common sense is not the fact that Prince Harry “got wild” and abandoned more than principles, but that principles played no part whatsoever in the subsequent photography, solicitation and publication that followed. Do people today in society have absolutely no sense of decency? I am sure that many of us have had one opportunity after another to be vindictive or opportunistic or plain malicious but have quickly sidestepped the urge because of something our photographer friend might have never been exposed to – principles of human decency.
Sure, Harry was naked, sure someone else with him, very close, was naked. And sure they were photographed. But why is it that the right to privacy only extends to the photographer? This entire matter is a microcosm of what is wrong with society, and with individuals, today. No respect, no judgment, no decency, no feelings of repugnance for doing the wrong thing. Always demanding that no one else judge them and always demanding that every opportunity be theirs for the grasping.
TMZ scored with this stunt with a lot of people, but anyone with a sense of decency has to have asked, how safe are they in their hotel rooms, toilets, bedrooms and homes when this kind of stealing is rewarded and protected. Warner Brothers – over to you.