Larry Hackett, managing editor of People Magazine, stated this morning on Good Morning America, in reference to the segment on Jennifer Garner and Halle Berry testifying in California to support the Paparazzi Law:
“Well if I could just jump in…nobody’s going to defend guys jumping out of bushes and taking photographs of kids, that’s just not right. But just like the previous segment, I am always concerned as a journalist about the laws that are passed. This law is designed to protect children of celebrities. However the way it’s written, it may stop you from photographing children let’s say from a disaster at a high school. Would you be allowed to photograph children if they are under age? I don’t know that. Laws sometimes are written for one thing and they end up being used for other things that may not be the intention. So, I don’t want to defend guys who hang out in bushes, but as a journalist, I’m always concerned about laws being passed, however well intended, that stop people from doing their jobs. “
It seems to me, Mr. Hackett, in complaining about the fact that a law that was written for one thing, could end up being used for other things that were not the intention of the original law, is like “the pot calling the kettle black”. Isn’t that what the paparazzi and tabloids do every day? Don’t they hide behind the law that supports freedom of press? That law was not intended as an excuse to allow people to be stalked daily. That law was never intended to allow men and women with high powered cameras to take photographs from unheard of distances. The law concerning freedom of press was never intended to give photographers carte blanche. It was never intended to allow photographers to yell malicious obscenities at people in order that they can get a “money shot”. Mr. Hackett, you can’t have it both ways. Either, get behind a law that protects children from the vicious attacks that they are being subjected to, or stand behind the law about Freedom of Press as it was originally intended. Your magazine should quit purchasing photographs from paparazzi. Don’t blame it on the public, sir. If the pictures disappeared and were replaced by legitimate photographs taken with the blessing on the celebrity and with articles that were based on provable facts using sited sources, you wouldn’t lose your readership—it would probably grow. At the moment, your magazine is nothing but a “a sow’s ear posing as a silk purse”. You publish exactly the same BS that all the other tabloids taunt. Why don’t you stand up and have some respect for journalism and Freedom of Press as it was originally intended. Quit paying for photos by paparazzi—and don’t tell me you don’t know the circumstance under which they are taken. If you are that oblivious to what is going on, then what the heck are you doing in the position of managing editor of one of the most read magazines in the entertainment business? I will happily show you hundreds of videos that show exactly how these photographs are taken. It doesn’t take a genius—Google it. Surely, you are capable of that. And while you are at it, why don’t you start screening your articles to be sure that you are printing truths instead of innuendo and fabrications—and in many cases, flat out lies.
You are concerned about not being able to photograph children that have been involved in a disaster at a high school? Are you kidding me? Those children SHOULD NOT BE PHOTOGRAPHED AT ALL!!!!!!!!!!!! If they have been involved in an incident such as that, the last thing they need are paparazzi posing as “journalists” documenting their reactions to what has been a life changing experience.
Your comments this morning were ill advised, sir. You need to think about what you said. And, I personally think you owe the nation an apology!
See his comments here: 36.42