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Celebrity's take on media freedom

Posted Wednesday, October 31, 2007, at 7:34 AM

Heather Mills McCartney had a hissy fit on British TV this morning, with the media in her signts.

She's upset over media coverage of her impending divorce from Paul McCartney, who's likely had quite a few hard day's nights lately as a result.

Ever seen how the British media pounce on celebrity news? Unlike the U.S., England has daily tabloids resembling the weekly "newspapers" you see next to checkout counters in stores here. Imagine a daily "National Enquirer."

And they seem to carry much more credbility among the public.

"They make up such lies," she said, according to the Associatd Press. "They've called me a whore, a gold digger, a fantasist, a liar -- the most unbelievably hurtful things -- and I've stayed quiet for my daughter."

"I need to get everybody to petition (the European Parliament) that they don't want to be lied to any more by the press...They want their children to grow up in a society where press is just and fair, and the size of the lie they print is the size of the apology they have to print."

Her views on the media may be worth considering. And I'll admit that my position as a member of the media likely affects my viewpoint.

But I've found that a lot of people, from celebrities to locals charged in criminal cases, yell "media prejudice" if a story involving them doesn't reflect their individual viewpoint.

Remember this: The media isn't in the business of printing "lies," at least not in mainstream United States newspapers and media-owned websites. Our credibility depends on getting it right -- and true -- the first time.

Her comment about government regulation of the press (as in print media) is ridiculous. Government needs to be as far removed from the media as possible when content's concerned.

As far as Mills McCartney's "gold digger" comment...the financial settlement in the divorce may be Britain's largest ever. Wonder what her take on that is?

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I had no idea any of this was going on! LOL! Honestly, I know who Paul McCartney is but I had no clue he was married or getting divorced. Maybe that's what she needs more of in her life, people who don't care!

-- Posted by LauraSFT on Wed, Oct 31, 2007, at 2:47 PM

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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.