Sarah Glenn

Never stop exploring

I’m Watching You …

Written By: admin - Nov• 09•11

Ah fame. It is a double edged sword that sometimes cuts deep.

At least in the United States, if you are a public figure, the press can declare open season on you. Flash bulbs, camped out cub reporters and private investigators are all part of the package.

Two stories this week make public figures an interesting issue. First, the Herman Cain Train ran into a few unhappy ladies.  Second, News of the World apparently paid a private investigator to follow a few (ahem 90) people just in case there was some dirt to dig up.

The definition of a public figure might surprise a few of you.  If people are talking about you in the papers or blogosphere, watch out.

To dig through your dirty laundry, you must be legally:

  • Either a public official or any other person pervasively involved in public affairs, or
  • limited purpose public figure, meaning those who have “thrust themselves to the forefront of particular public controversies in order to influence the resolution of the issues involved.”
Mr. Cain has no excuse. These women could (or could not) be lying through their teeth. It doesn’t matter. In court, the burden of proof is on Cain to prove them wrong or prove that they “maliciously” set out to attack him. In court, proving malice is only slightly easier than attaching wings to a pig and making it fly cross-country.
The people being followed by the News of the World P.I. is just a matter of sketchy ethics. These people weren’t doing much that was newsworthy. In fact, the list included more than a few back bench, no name politicians who were personally a little critical of News of the World. The slimy little paper just hoped that they would slip up one of these days and the P.I. would be there to catch them.
If I don’t like what you are saying about my newspaper, then I will hire a private investigator to snoop into your stuff. Better watch your back.
Who says we should be concerned about “Big Brother” government. It’s the News of the World that is spying on us …

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