When to shoot the messenger

Lara Bingle is suing former lover Brendan Fevola for allegedly distributing a nude photo of her, yet Fairfax and News Limited (and commercial tv, but I don’t watch the news on Seven, Nine and Ten so I can only guess they’ve been running it too) are also responsible for this photo getting out. Both news organisations have been running prominent stories about it, and both have run the damn photo – with pink bits blurred, of course, because somehow that makes it ok.

It’s blatantly obvious that Bingle did not want that photo taken, so I hope there was at least some debate in newsrooms about running it. Or did no one give a shit because she’s “fair game”? How newsworthy is it really that there’s a nude photo of Lara Bingle? If you argued that Fevola showing it to team mates is newsworthy, then why not – at the very least – include a photo of Fevola in the story? Hmm?

A few weeks ago, a random commenter (he/she has never been back) said I was bitter and “sniping from the stands”. I’m not bitter at all. I’m fascinated by journalism. But I’m not a very good journalist because I believe that, with a few exceptions*, someone’s private life is none of our business. Or perhaps that makes me a good journalist, it’s hard to tell these days.

* For example, a public figure who opines about the sanctity of marriage, yet is having an affair.

9 responses to “When to shoot the messenger

  1. Ergh, next thing you know the media will be saying it’s her own fault for being a model to begin with >.<

  2. The thing that annoyed me about the couple of stories I’ve seen about it was all the “well, the timing of this is questionable” comments, inferring that she had orchestrated it herself.

    • Followed by “she was topless in a fashion shoot in that German magazine, so she’s got no leg to stand on” and “she’s only annoyed because she didn’t get paid for it”. As Legal Eagle writes over at Skeptic Lawyer (http://skepticlawyer.com.au/2010/03/02/privacy-and-wags/), the logical extension of that argument is to say that it’s not a problem if a prostitute is raped because she’s only annoyed she didn’t get paid. Which is utter utter bullshit.

  3. Cynical me now but when you hire Max Markson and a week later this happens, then he decides you’re going to sue Fevola for leaking the photo (when they should be sueing the papers, magazines et al) then you sell your story to the same mag as the offending image was published in for $200k IO can’t help but think this was a big set up. MAX MARKSON!!! I’m not suggesting that Bingle set this up or that she is not entitled to be upset about this, but she hired him and this is what this bloke does.

    • I would be very, very surprised if that’s what happened. It just wouldn’t be worth it for her to release that photo in the hope that news sites will blur her bits and no one will get ahold of it and post an un-blurred version elsewhere on the web. Every time someone Googles her, that image is going to come up. Every time an article is written about her, the journo will mention it. Most online news rooms use systems that now pull in related links automatically, so because it was a popular story, it will always appear alongside future stories about her. If it was a posed ‘hey baby, this is for you’ style photo, I’d be more inclined to be cynical about it. But this image is going to haunt her. Besides, a professional like Markson wouldn’t recommended this as a publicity strategy. Every move she makes is already documented in the tabloids, so it’s not like she needed the extra publicity in the first place.

  4. Pingback: I am on Team Lara | the news with nipples

  5. Pingback: In Lara Bingle vs the MSM, I am on Team Lara | the news with nipples

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