I consider this public obsession with celebrities in our culture to be a sickness. So I see the photographers who cover them just a manifestation of the underlying disease. Now officials from celebrity enclaves like Beverly Hills and Malibu are meeting for the first time today to discuss tougher regulations against the stalkarazzi or wreckarazzi. News reports say the goal is for each city to adopt its own ordinances to punish aggressive paparazzi, while keeping the rules uniform in the places where celebrities live, work and play. But the already over-burdened police forces would have a hell of a time enforcing any new codes and can’t even enforce the already existing regs like loitering used against the pic-takers. True, the incidents keep mounting of A-list celebs trying to protect their privacy. Meanwhile, the photographers themselves are encouraging the idea of certification program to separate the “legit” paparazzi from the non-legit. But I believe the only way to stop outrageous behavior by the photogs is to hold responsible the editors of those magazines and websites willing to pay outrageous prices for celebrity pictures. None of this would be happening if the photos weren’t worth millions of dollars in newsstand sales. Of course, the public is at fault for wanting to see the snaps in the first place. But I say that if a stalkarazzi is getting too rough and tumble, then the mag or web editor who assigns or publishes those photos is as much morally and legally at fault as the picture taker. That’ll end this crap once and for all.
Editor-in-Chief Nikki Finke - tip her here.