THE PRESS IS SO OUT OF CONTROL (because we let them be)

We hear it again and again of course. We complain about it’s intrusiveness while secretly checking out the scandal sheets at the checkout in the market. The “press” is completely out of control and we have no one to blame but ourselves – if there was no market for it, we would see less and less of it.

My husband has been known to make fun of me for knowing all the stupid gossip, yet when Tom Brady and his pregnant ex-girlfriend and model soon to be wife were headline news, my husband could tell you every detail. We are all guilty.

But face it, Tom Brady is a public figure. As is Tiger and Kim Kardashion and Paris Hilton and all the other people who live lives frequently in the “news”. But I have real issues with the coverage of Ruben van Assouw, the nine year old plane crash survivor. Sure, it is actually real news. It is a miracle. And I can understand that every person on the planet with access to the internet, a television, radio or newspaper wants to hear about it. And the press is on top of it. My issue is with the hospital and possibly later his aunt and uncle (although at least some of this happened before their arrival – I will judge as they move forward). Why was that picture allowed to appear – everywhere? He had no parents there to protect him. That was the job of the hospital. Do you routinely let pictures of children out to the press without the permission of their parents? And for that matter why do we know more than what I would get if I called Rhode Island Hospital to inquire about a patient? “He’s listed in serious condition.” They would not tell me he has x number of broken bones, he will be going into surgery, he is conscious and talking…. That is confidential medical information. As to the picture, I could almost give the hospital a pass. It could well have been taken through a glass window by a cunning photographer who slipped past busy staff. However, the reporter in the room who reported on what the boy said? No, the hospital gets no pass on that. I am not sure if that happened before or after the aunt and uncle arrived. I tend to think before as they have had a statement released that they do not want to be contacted by the media.

We used to carry a card saying, “I am a Catholic, in case of accident call a priest”. Or wear a necklace telling we were diabetic or allergic to some drug. It seems the time has come we need to carry something expressing the level of privacy we desire in case we are not able to speak for ourselves.

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