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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The glare of publicity

It never ceases to amaze how public figures curry favor with the media when it suits their fancy, but when the news isn't so good, they make like those some media folk don't exist or, worse yet, attack them for invading their privacy. Some recent examples:

Brick Mayor Joseph Scarpelli resigned earlier this month, with no reason given. He's been an accessible figure in local politics for decades, but when it came to bowing out, he couldn't find time for the media. His silence enhances rumors that he's involved in a federal corruption investigation involving his administration.

First lady Laura Bush can't deny that she's a public figure. Yet she didn't see any reason to tell us about her skin cancer treatment in November. "Actually it never occurred to me to make it public,'' she said the other day. That says something about the secrecy of the Bush administration.

Baseball star Ken Griffey broke his hand at home, his team reported last week. That could deal a serious blow to his Cincinnati Reds. But the family won't reveal the circumstances. That opens up all kinds of theories -- undoubtedly negative -- about what really happened.

These and so many other public figures just can't have it both ways. If you're in the public eye, privacy takes a back seat. If you don't like that, then step aside.


Blogger margaret said...

I just don't agree with you, especially in regard to Laura Bush. Yes, these people are in the public eye, but the way I'm reading your blog, you're saying that nothing is sacred in terms of their privacy. No, that's not right. If Laura wants time to ponder her skin cancer in private, I say, give her time and space. If Scarpelli bows out with no reason given, I'm sure someone in the media will break down proverbial doors to get the scoop. The media sometimes goes too far. I'm sure you disagree with that, but thankfully in this great country we can agree to disagree .

6:33 PM, December 26, 2006  
Anonymous Don Kosloff said...

Your comment on Laura Bush is just plain sick. Her medical conditions are none of anybody's business. Your comment about Ken Griffey is not much better. You are a parasite. But even parasites sometimes have to work a little bit to suck the lifeblood our of their hosts.

9:07 PM, December 28, 2006  
Anonymous Papinian said...

Aren't you a public figure, Mr. Benjamin? That being the case, when can we expect you to post your complete medical history on this web site?

6:40 AM, December 29, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I usually agree with you, but on this one, I think you're reaching. The job or marital connection to a job doesn't mean the person signed up for his/her life to be an open book 24/7. Can you imagine yourself having to live like that?

As for Scarpelli, he has a right to his own reason for resignation, and now he's a private citizen off the payroll who doesn't have a responsibility to respond to media. Time will tell about rumors, but as of now, they are just rumors.

That said, Scarpelli, like Joe Azzolina, always has been a notorious media whore, making the most of every photo op. But I never found him available for the average citizen with a problem, so I don't see his current scarcity out of office as anything unexpected or unusual.

11:41 AM, December 31, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

May I say, gently, that your comment concerning the First Lady's medical condition says far more about the invasive curiousity of some members of the public, the eagerness of the media to gratify that curiousity, and the constitutionally-protected but nonetheless distortive bias of current reportage than it does about the "secrecy" of the Administration. Politics is politics. This ain't.

3:52 PM, January 02, 2007  

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