Everyone probably knows that there’s an ongoing battle between those of us who work for the media and the pubic figures we so often write about like politicians, tycoons and celebrities. A journalist may overstep his or her boundaries when interviewing someone (no, this is not a reference to Bode Miller, but it can be if you want it to be), a celebrity might break someone’s camera Hulk smash-style, or someone in a boy band whose name rhymes with Piam Layne will get sassy with journalists via Twitter.
Every other week it feels that there’s a struggle, and we all bicker over “who started it.” However, little do they know, we journalists are in fact not out to get them as their paranoia may suggest. In reality, there have been numerous times when celebrities just don’t understand the work that goes on behind the scenes as a writer, reporter, anchor, whatever, you name it. I just learned how to operate a teleprompter a few weeks ago. Even that is much more difficult than you’d think. So before you get all “take down the media” on us, here are a few times where celebrities and journalists alike have overreacted or have done their part in screwing up the facts.
Drake Whines About Rolling Stone – Winner: Rolling Stone
Just last week, Drake took to Twitter, ranting over how horrible the media is and how the press is evil because Rolling Stone “took” the cover from him last minute to instead memorialize Philip Seymour Hoffman. He also claimed that he never made comments about Kanye West’s album, Yeezus, during his interview, despite the fact that the magazine quoted him as doing so.
Whether or not he actually made comments about Yeezus is something we’ll probably never figure out, but with Rolling Stone being such a famously known magazine, I find it highly unlikely that there isn’t someone sitting in their office with a recorder that says exactly what was quoted in this Drake’s article. Tabloids are one thing, but when you have as many readers as Rolling Stone probably does, you don’t make that shit up for kicks and giggles, otherwise someone is getting canned.
And while ethically, the question of whether or not the magazine misquoted him is indeed at the top of the list, I find it even more disturbing that Drake actually had a hissy fit for not getting his cover. Hoffman was a film industry legend, sir, and when someone that important dies, you cover it. That’s just the way it works in our industry because relevance and timeliness is everything. Also, simply having a big name magazine like this consider you for a cover is HUGE. Magazine’s are doing a service to you by putting you on their cover. Don’t you ever wonder why celebrities admit how badly they want to be on the cover of Vogue? Anna Wintour doesn’t take orders from you and neither does Jann Wenner, so you can leave now.
Lamar Odom Breaks Camera – Winner: Tie
I’ll be the first to admit that the paparazzi can be super frustrating. There’s no doubt about it. When news spread about Odom lashing out at a photographer by pretty much breaking all of his camera equipment, everyone was like “Oh my, what a horrible person.” Truthfully, I would probably be annoyed if some random approached my car to ask me whether or not he was cheating on his then-wife, Khloe Kardashian. Oddly enough, what many people seem to forget about this encounter is that Odom made his best attempt to speak with the photographer, asking him to put down his camera so they could discuss these allegations.
After a failed effort, Odom then took camera equipment from the man’s car, throwing it into the street and allegedly began hitting his car with a metal bar. Was the photographer being annoying? Absolutely. Yet this still doesn’t provide Odom with an excuse for damaging someone else’s belongings. The easiest thing he could have done was drive away.
Evan Rachel Wood Lashes Out On Twitter – Winner: Wood
Although I can’t exactly defend celebrities who get angry over their private lives in fact not being private due to the press (as you’ll see in my post below), I have to side with Wood who was infuriated over the Daily Mail publishing a picture of her ultrasound a year ago. That’s pretty messed up, especially considering she was actually in the garage of a hospital when it was taken. Besides, I’m not even sure why anyone would care about a celebrity’s ultrasound photo, but maybe just me. Unless it’s a friend, family member or me (which, let’s be real, is not happening for several years), I’m not really into seeing pictures of a random person’s fetus. Just sayin’.
Alec Baldwin Tries To Justify Actions, Still Fails – Winner: Media
There’s always something about Baldwin fighting with the media and hitting cameras, so let’s not even get into that. Not surprised anymore. However, earlier in 2013, Baldwin made a comment blaming the media for his problems, stating, “This country’s obsession with the private lives of famous people is tragic. It’s tragic in the sense that it is so clearly a projection of people’s frustration about their government, their economy, their own spiritual bankruptcy. You have no voice in Washington.”
While I can agree that as a whole, our society may feed off celebrity news and frequently become entranced by their private lives over what we’re doing with our own lives, I can’t help but wonder why he thinks that’s the media’s fault. If you choose to start a career in acting and by chance become incredibly famous as Baldwin did, you don’t exactly have the right to say, “Sorry, my life is private.” I go into journalism knowing not everyone will agree with me and that some people might even hate what I write about. The president goes into office knowing he’s going to take shit from the entire country — actually every single person — likely learn about government secrets Americans will never know about unless more Edward Snowdens come along, and maybe complete a mere few items of a list of things he promised to the American people. Likewise, it would be complete BS for an actor like Baldwin, someone knowingly does work for the pubic, to expect us not to be interested in his life.
That Time Anthony Weiner Blamed THE New York Times – Winner: The New York Times
After all of Carlos Danger’s sexting antics (the first time that is), both Weiner and his wife, Huma Abedin, opened up to writer Jonathan Van Meter for an interview in The New York Times. Then, when Weiner’s second scandal made headlines, he took to GQ to share his thoughts on the piece, making a point that it was actually too nice. WTF?
“The problem was that the story was completely different from what we thought would be written,” Weiner said to Marshall Sella. “I thought there’d be thousands of questions about the sexting. But there wasn’t a lot of conversation about that. We had a guy [Van Meter] who wasn’t tough enough. We need someone to just tear away at me. And not someone who would do something sympathetic… He wrote an aftermath story, about two interesting people. Later, I thought, ‘We didn’t get this done. Of the hundred things we wanted to do, the one thing we wanted to accomplish was to get that out there.”
I read the story by the way, and I’m not sure what story Weiner read. Sorry that Van Meter didn’t get it done for you, Weiner, but was that even necessary? Pretty sure you already did that when sending those photos.
Jodie Foster Defends Kristen Stewart – Winner: Media
Sometimes I think people forget that this is our job. Breaking news, celebrity news, college news, anything news. The point of being a journalist is to get the scoop before everyone else, and, if people aren’t feeling it, then why are so many people picking up magazines, watching the news on TV and looking it up on the Internet? Although I do feel that to a certain degree, there are certain outlets in the world that are shaping their content in a certain — not necessarily positive — way to bring in more readers and viewers, it’s also important to point out that if people didn’t consume what we’re putting out as journalists, then would we still be writing? Probably not. I’m not blaming one party or the other. We produce the content and you’re reading it, so this isn’t one-sided.
Yet when Jodie Foster came to Stewart’s defense in an article for The Daily Beast, I wanted to lawl so hard because she actually called out the media for reporting Stewart’s affair, stating, “We’ve all seen the headlines at the check-out counter. ‘Kristen Stewart Caught.’ We’ve all themed the glossy pages here and there. ‘Kris and Rob a couple?’ We all catch the snaps… But we seldom consider the childhoods we unknowingly destroy in the process.” Right, my bad. I forgot that we, the media, planned for Rupert Sanders and Stewart to get caught cheating on their significant others. I forgot that I told Stewart to stand out in broad daylight kissing someone who wasn’t Robert Pattinson. I also forgot that I told her to become an actress because there are never consequences for becoming famous or anything. Give me a break.