Saturday, 28 February 2009

When the cameras should stop

Today's tabloid front pages featured pictures of a distressed Jade Goody leaving home to spend some time in a hospice, suffering some side effects from her cancer treatment drugs. Now it's a fair point to say that she would be no-one and nowhere without the attention of the press. She is 'famous for being famous', has lived her adult life in the public eye, and has made a lot of money out of it. And some would argue that if you live by the sword, you die by the sword. Unwanted media attention goes with a celebrity lifestyle.

But surely in the current circumstances, where we have a 27 year old mother of two facing an early and painful death, the rules have changed? There's a big difference between stories with which she has willingly co-operated, either because she believes that to do so would help educate young women about the dangers of cervical cancer or because she wants to make as much money as she can to provide for her sons after her death, and pictures snatched by parapazzi photographers lying in wait for her outside her home.

Similarly, although David Cameron has frequently been photographed or filmed with his son Ivan and other family members, I think most people would respect his family's right to privacy at this time. It's just basic decency and I think if one unspoken rule applies for the Camerons, it should also apply to Jade Goody. She has the right to pick and choose when she wants the cameras to run, and when she wants them to stop.

10 comments:

Chris Hutt said...

A sense of "basic decency" would surely have caused Jade Goody to eschew offers to have her demise marketed to the tabloids to fuel the public's increasingly jaded (!) tastes.

She apparently lacks that sense of "basic decency", as do the gutter press and their readers. The whole thing reflects very badly on contemporary culture. Perhaps Jade Goody is as much a victim of this was anyone, but it is hard to feel sympathy.

Kerry said...

And what about the comparison with John Diamond, Ruth Picardie, etc? Is it alright if it's for a 'highbrow' readership the Guardian or Observer but not if it's for the readers of OK magazine? I'm not entirely comfortable with the media circus surrounding her wedding, etc, but I'd be reluctant to condemn her or the choices she has made.

Chris Hutt said...

Good point. The middle classes have always allowed themselves to explore moral relativism in a way that they would prefer the masses didn't, on the grounds I suppose that their sensibilities are more refined. I go along with that.

yellowbelly said...

And what about the comparison with John Diamond, Ruth Picardie, etc?

===

I don't recall either of them employing Max Clifford?

Compare and contrast "Jane" Goody's self-pity with the unstinting efforts of Jane Tomlinson and her family. £2.6 million raised for children's and cancer charities, and now a new target of £5 million.

That is a true legacy.

Kerry said...

But I assume they both had literary agents... a different sort of marketing, but marketing all the same. Jade Goody is not someone I admire, but I do feel tremendously sorry for her.

bevanite said...

I agree with the sense of classism that surrounds the criticism of Jade Goody, if this was an illness of, for instance, a middle class, educated 'celebrity' serialised in the Times there would be little upset.
the incessant following of the woman and the sort of headlines published do leave a bad taste in the mouth but any unease we feel in the relative sanitized society we live in must be counteracted by the 20% rise in women taking up cervical smear tests. Coupled with the government's cervical cancer immunisation programme, the plight of a woman built, destroyed and then finally funded by the tabloid machine may have saved a generation of young women from dying unnecessarily prematurely.

Remember Remember said...

Kerry said: "She has the right to pick and choose when she wants the cameras to run, and when she wants them to stop"

AND SO SHOULD WE!!!
GB has more surveillance cameras than the whole of Europe put together.

(Whatshername wanted to be in the limelight.)

Kerry said...

I think you'll find that CCTV is quite popular amongst the general public; I'm frequently contacted by people who want it in their neighbourhood.

And it's one thing seeking the limelight when you're well, quite another being hounded when you're terminally ill and in considerable pain. On that basis, do you think the paparazzi should be staking out the Camerons at the moment? (For the record, I don't).

Elmer Quigley Gooseburger said...

I think you'll find that CCTV is quite popular amongst the general public; I'm frequently contacted by people who want it in their neighbourhood.

Yeah, right.

No need to name names, Kerry, client confidentiality and all that.

Just tell us please, what part of Mogadishu East doesn't currently "enjoy" some sort of CCTV coverage?

Remember Remember said...

Its the intellectually challenged readers of junk mags and tabloids who fund the Paparazzi. Obviously there is a demand for them, the mags are quite popular, so it's OK, just like CCTV! (your own logic)