Press and handling them

18 May

I was smiling when I read one of our national newspapers the other day. One of my siblings had been handling part of the contents. Being part of  a quite known rap formation, this made me able to read a lot of things I already knew. One of them being how they used to scare away journalists with their way of answering questions. I was surprised to learn how journalists had actually always dreaded to interview them. It apparently was never a ‘wanted’ task.

As my sibling and me were raised with the motto: ‘a stupid question deserves a stupid answer’, I did always recognise the part where a journalist would start to dig his own grave if I read one of their interviews.
They knew every journalist would want to know how they met, what their lifestory was and so on. They didn’t always feel like answering. Not for real. So they made stuff up.
Given that they told a different story to every single magazine, they did make it obvious that it probably wasn’t all that reliable.
As they said to a more serious newspaper (where they have always behaved rather well): ‘we tried to find the most idiotic story possible, we went with it, and it went in like a cock in a porn film’.
That is what it’s like. As a rising star, it can be liberating to tell whatever you want to reveal of yourself.
True or not.
Given that the USA and UK have more trash papers and flying about paparazzi who are never punished for their way of acting (causing car crashes, stalking, provoking and harassment), I do think this is one of the few pleasures one can have as a celebrity. Simply keeping stuff to yourself, or make things up as you go. Why not?

So, reading today about Rebel Wilson actually pulling the same prank, really made me smile a lot.

There’s not many things one can hide these days from the press. Interviews are meant for getting in touch with your fans, bond with the press, build trust and friendship, to sell a movie. At least, for the actor/actress.
For the magazine it’s simply to sell magazines. They want things to be correct. They want to have the scoop of being the only one with the full truth and nothing but the truth so help their editor.
In the past, they have been known for revealing family secrets that were hidden so firmly by a family, I’m not sure if that family could act normal around each other after that revelation. Press praises itself for this. Not sure Jack Nicholson’s familie was too happy about it.

There is, however, a difference between writing for entertainment value and, say, broadcasting the news.
In the news, you want facts to be right. You don’t want to be the twat who’s writing country Z started a war with country H if it was actually country R, or country Z who started it itself. In that type of journalism, it should be completely reliable what you write. People’s life may depend on what you write. It’s tricky. People get arrested for writing the truth there and feel humbled being given the pen to write it down.

Then there’s entertainment. That’s a whole different strategy, I’d say. It’s a privilige for a journalist to be able to interview an actor that has just done a movie. After all, you’re the one who can talk to this person who has loads of fans and a lot of people envy you for this. This is one single person.
At the same time, s/he may be of interest, but on global level, this person isn’t. Not so much. People’s lives don’t depend on what you write down as a journalist here. Ofcourse, writing smut (what mostly happens) can cause your boss to have to stand in court and loads of fans will dislike you or the famous person for a while, but generally no lives are being taken.

Not in the eyes of Mia Freedman though, the shallow woman who even dares to call her revelations of Rebel Wilson ‘brave celebrity journalism’. Really? You did make that up yourself, Mia Freedman, didn’t you? It’s not an actual jargon, I hope?
Causing someone the journalism-version of severe gasses, only to see a giant fart developing that will cause to stink massively for about five minutes, only to clear out your ‘I HAVE TO HAVE THIS SCOOP!!!” feeling, is not ‘brave journalism’. You would be brave, Freedman, if you went out there to Syria with Angelina Jolie to see what kind of work she does for people seeking shelter. You would be brave if you went out with Madonna to Malawi to see what the money she donated, has done for the people. You would be brave if you went out with Louis Theroux to see how he makes despicable people explain themselves poorly in front of a camera.
Yes, I know this is not your field. I’m just putting out what the words ‘brave celebrity journalism’ should entail.
It’s not outing a star about facts she may have twisted to give herself a better chance in the hard world that is Hollywood. That’s just a way to survive the Hollywood jungle.
I’m sure you have a lovely life behind your desk, sending out people to write stories for you and making decisions around the clock of what should be on the cover and what star would sell better. Probably the skinny twenty-somethings, no?


The only reason you haven’t published it before, was because no-one else had the story yet. Probably one of your employers leaked and you thought ‘fuuuuuck! Now have to let the world know that I knew. And before someone else does it’. So you saved your own ass. Woohoo. I hope your next gas-filled-belly-accident will occur in a meeting.
In a meetingroom full of -no doubt- Very Important People.
Who all look up to you. Mia Freedman, the Important Editor.
And there’s no dog to blame.
And it smells like shit.
Because you just farted.

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Posted by on May 18, 2015 in Films, Opinion


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