Friday, January 04, 2008
Jackals and Has-Beens
I have chased defendants down stairways, quizzed new widows as they clutched Kleenex and bum-rushed a dumpster or two - ALL in the name of news. But nothing I’ve done with a TV news camera on my shoulder has made me feel as sleazy as watching the paparazzi cling to the back of Britney Spears’ ambulance. For those of you with the good sense to ignore this tripe, I’ll try and be brief: Last night the Mouseketeer turned nut bag reportedly wigged out inside her Los Angeles home. When an ambulance came to take her to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for observation, it had to weave through a human debris field of photogs, reporters and assorted whack-jobs with lenses. By the time the paramedics pulled out with the wash-up pop star in the back, the unthinkable scrum clung to the exiting ambulance like hyenas on a bleeding cheetah. If you missed the video, don’t sweat it. I hear it's currently playing it on a loop in the Seventh Circle of Hell.
Now, I’m no paparazzi. Yeah, there’s usually a viewfinder in my face, but any celebrity I’ve pointed it at generally welcomed the attention. Well, there was that time I loitered in a underground parking garage, waiting for Nikki Sixx to report to court. Serena Williams didn’t seem to happy to see me when I stumbled upon her at Furniture Market one year. And there was that time when Rusty Wallace yelled at me for shining a light on him, but that hardly counts, since everyone knows what an insufferable prick Rusty Wallace is. My point is this: Past transgressions aside, what I do is very different from sleeping in my car outside some embattled ingénue’s mansion, in hopes she’ll stick her head out long enough to regurgitate in High Def. But to too many folks, I am but a cousin to this lecherous breed, just another yak with a deadline and a lens. Maybe that’s why the sight of Lenslingers Gone Wild irks me so. I ain’t asking you to feel sorry for pampered celebrities, but as Garlon Pittman often begged of me and my brothers in the 80’s...
"Ya'll act like ya got some sense..."