I've got a little problem with the media lately. I understand it is their job to report, to bring news to the public, to take pictures and videos of important people doing important things.
But sometimes the media cross a line. Sometimes they are cruel, sometimes they're too pushy, sometimes they won't let go, even when they are unwanted.
I realize there's a big difference between the paparazzi and, say, the local newscasters on CJOH. But this week I found a legitimate comparison to the Hollywood shutter-bugs and our own local media.
You've probably all heard the story of Wade Redden and teammate Brian McGrattan jawing at the cameramen who awaited outside a close-door team meeting at Scotiabank Place on Monday. After emerging from the 40-minute meeting, the players, obviously upset over the recent turn of events that have people calling them "Team Turmoil" and edgy from probably being lectured for almost an hour, they walked into a melée of cameramen and reporters, all looking to sensationalize the downward-spiral the Sens have been in for a while now. (And I blame the media for that, as well. Little spats at practice and such would largely go un-noticed with other teams, but because they're the first-place team from the Nation's Capital, everything gets blown out of proportion).
Anyways, apparently Redden crudely told the reporters to shove their cameras, and McGrattan followed suit with similiar suggestions. It was a pretty hot story for a few days, and the local media were all riled up about it, even though Redden did say later he meant his comments to be a joke. (I doubt it, but I'm glad he tried to smooth it over).
The local scribes and sports radio hosts were a little miffed at their reaction to their cameras, claiming that they are well compensated for living the life of famed athletes in the city and that they should be acting more like the professionals that they are. Also brought up was the fact that none of the players seem to mind the media attention when things are going well, so they should take the good with the bad, suck it up, and play nice with the photogs.
Now, lets transport ourselves to another world entirely: The world of Britney Spears. Yes, that's right, I said Britney Spears, believe it or not. Now I'm hardly sayting Wade Redden is anything like the fallen pop princess, but there is a comparison to be drawn. Poor Brit, she went from one of the hottest stars in the music industry to a great big joke in the past year, but now, it's gone beyond that. What's happening with her is no longer a laughing matter. The girl is seriously ill and quite obviously needs help, and I do think that the paparazzi are largely to blame. Everywhere she goes, they are there. Camped out at the gates of her estate, following her when she goes to Starbucks, and even ready to pounce when she's leaving the hospital.
Therein lie the similarities. Cameramen are cameramen, whether they are working for a reputable news source, or the tabloids. And these celebrities they are trying to catch doing something wrong are actually human beings, who have limits and boundaries, no matter how much money they make. Imagine if you've had a bad week at work, and everytime you leave the office you're hit with a barrage of questions and flashbulbs popping in your face. Wouldn't it make you want to snap?
At the end of the day, I guess Wade Redden shouldn't have barked at the cameramen. It wasn't exactly a shining moment in his career. But to be fair, they aren't always oozing with compliments for him in their columns and stories, especially over the past two seasons. In fact, he's been their favourite whipping boy.
So the way I'm feeling about the "paparazzi" lately...Well, just maybe they deserved the tongue-lashing he gave them.