Public figures want it both ways on privacy
It is grossly hypocritical of Paul Keating – or anyone else in the public eye – to complain about the media invading their family’s privacy.
I’m sick of politicians and performers, who trade their profiles for money, biting the hand that feeds them.
Keating’s daughter Katherine has a reputation for appearing at the opening of an envelope to promote her political lobbying business. But why turn up at a VIP party, sponsored by a vodka company, dressed as Amy Winehouse, if you don’t want to be papped by photographers?
There’s an unwritten rule at these kind of parties.
Make no mistake, you aren’t being invited for your scintillating personality.
The organisers want pictures of high-profile people to appear in the media, covertly promoting their brand of alcohol/clothing/jewellery.
It is the height of bad manners – not to mention counter-productive – to lash out at the snappers for simply doing their job.
Lack of grace seems to run in the family.
Paul Keating regularly snipes at the media despite its ongoing love affair with the former PM, famously calling Richard Carleton a “24 carat pissant” and Laurie Oakes “a cane toad”. He once described the entire fourth estate as “f*#king animals”.
Still, journos remain enamoured with the vitriolic yet devilishly handsome Keating, his legendary barbs terrific fodder for Friday nights at the pub.
It begs the question: if Keating didn’t want his mug in the papers, why go into public office? Why not a behind-the-scenes role as a policy wonk?
The ego is a fragile beast.
The Lizard of Oz continues to crave centre stage but will only cop bouquets, not brickbats. At the same time he’s bagging the media for trying to take an innocent photograph at a public event, he’s appearing elsewhere in the media insulting Peter Costello as “a policy bum” and even attacking Kevin Rudd as “disloyal” for appointing Costello to the Future Fund board.
There are plenty of Hollywood stars with a similar personality trait, complaining about the paparazzi invading their privacy while their publicists work feverishly behind the scenes tipping off the media.
Or spending half their time posing for photos for women’s magazines and the other half wearing a low-slung baseball cap, pretending to be unaware of the snapperazzi hiding behind the bushes.
These celebrities can even posture as ‘fiercely protective’ parents, but will happily to take their kids out for a staged “pap” shot when they have a new movie to promote.
Not all of them, though. You never hear the ever-gracious Cate Blanchett complaining about being papped sans make-up in the supermarket.
It’s not just the rich and famous who suffer so-called invasions of privacy. In this brave new world we are ALL exposed, via Facebook, My Space, LinkedIn, citizen journalism or mobile phone cameras.
So why should a select few be protected, while everyone else accepts some loss of privacy as part and parcel of living in the modern age, with all its benefits?
Politics is a tough profession.
But those who pursue the power and the glory know that it comes at a price – sacrificing the right to privacy. This is especially so in cases where the spouse or children choose careers, based upon political connections and the family name.
Don’t be surprised if Katherine Keating appears at a Melbourne Cup function, possibly wearing clothes supplied by a top designer.
While sipping the free champagne and nibbling tasty canapés, she might take a moment to reflect on her privileged place in society.
And the unwritten contract that comes with it.
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