mercoledì 25 aprile 2012

Ruffians of gossipmakers

Ricky Martin homosexuality questions 'inappropriate', Barbara Walters admits

Barbara Walters, the American television presenter, has expressed her regret over a controversial interview with Ricky Martin where she aggressively questioned him about his homosexuality.

12:30PM BST 30 Mar 2010

Speaking just before the Latino Pop star confirmed he was homosexual, the 80 year-old broadcasting veteran admitted she had pursued “inappropriate” questions during their interview in 2000.
Walters, who has interviewed some of the world’s biggest names over an illustrious 29-year career, asked him whether he was a homosexual, which he refused to disclose.

She then asks Martin what Gloria Estefan meant when she once told him "enjoy your sexuality" as the star becomes more awkward.

Walters, who is known for getting stars to open up on camera, continues her questioning by asking him how exactly he is "enjoying it."
“In 2000, I pushed Ricky Martin very hard to admit if he was gay or not, and the way he refused to do it made everyone decide that he was,” she told the Toronto Star earlier this month.

“A lot of people say that destroyed his career, and when I think back on it now I feel it was an inappropriate question.”
That interview, broadcast on the American ABC Network, is seen by many to have ruined the 38 year-old’s career.

After the interview his career in America fell flat although he is still considered a superstar in Latin America.
The Puerto Rican singer of hits such as "Livin' la Vida Loca," has long been the subject of speculation about his sexuality.

...but some months after these statements, Walters falls back in her bad vice ask the same question to a famous actor during a pre Academy Awards interview...

At the present day, people have lost all respect for every professionals working in the entertainment industry. Well aware that you can kill someone with gossip better than if you would do it with a gun, gossip becomes the perfect weapon to destroy anyone who does not like you (or just for fun sake) with unconscious shallowness, forgetting that they are human beings like you beyond their fame and deserve the same respect. 

Through a system of global mass communication such as social networks, the 'gossip weapon' greatly increases its power spreading itself everywhere like a virus, reaching millions of people in an instant. Paparazzi are  substantially like hired killers who use the camera as a gun (I still remember in this connection the murder of Diana Spencer and a long series of serious accidents caused by their reckless pursuits). But the worst in spreading this questionable practice, are professionals like broadcast journalists, television hosts or anchorman/women, both sexes without distinction and not necessarily active in the area of gossip. They are often well known and respected personalities of journalism, precisely like the aforementioned Barbara Walters, one of the most obsessed with sexuality of every celebs she's interviewing, to such an extent that she has become over the years a caricature of herself. 

Not just in the field of journalism, we can include in this big pile of gossip factory's ruffians, even supposed 'comedians' like, for example, Kathy Griffin and the now mummified from plastic surgery Joan Rivers. They are always in pole position in the questionable practice to submit their colleagues to public ridicule, giving new input to the constant gossip through something  disguised as humor but are only jokes in bad taste. The effect on the audience more superficial, people who take at face value any rumors uncritically, is disruptive. In this way the purpose is perfectly achieved and will be the same people, with their sick voyeurism, the keystone of this lethal mechanism called global gossip...the mud machine. 

lunedì 9 aprile 2012

Right to privacy (from Wikipedia)

Brandeis and Warren Article

The development of the doctrine regarding the tort of "invasion of privacy" was largely spurred by the Warren and Brandeis article, "The Right to Privacy". In it, they explain why they wrote the article in its introduction: "Political, social, and economic changes entail the recognition of new rights, and the common law, in its eternal youth, grows to meet the demands of society." More specifically, they also shift their focus on newspapers:
"The press is overstepping in every direction the obvious bounds of propriety and of decency. Gossip is no longer the resource of the idle and of the vicious, but has become a trade, which is pursued with industry as well as effrontery. To satisfy a prurient taste the details of sexual relations are spread broadcast in the columns of the daily papers....The intensity and complexity of life, attendant upon advancing civilization, have rendered necessary some retreat from the world, and man, under the refining influence of culture, has become more sensitive to publicity, so that solitude and privacy have become more essential to the individual; but modern enterprise and invention have, through invasions upon his privacy, subjected him to mental pain and distress, far greater than could be inflicted by mere bodily injury."
They then clarify their goals: "It is our purpose to consider whether the existing law affords a principle which can properly be invoked to protect the privacy of the individual; and, if it does, what the nature and extent of such protection is."
Warren and Brandeis write that privacy rights should protect both businesses and private individuals. They describe rights in trade secrets and unpublished literary materials, regardless whether those rights are invaded intentionally or unintentionally, and without regard to any value they may have. For private individuals, they try to define how to protect "thoughts, sentiments, and emotions, expressed through the medium of writing or of the arts." They describe such things as personal diaries and letters needing protection, and how that should be done: "Thus, the courts, in searching for some principle upon which the publication of private letters could be enjoined, naturally came upon the ideas of a breach of confidence, and of an implied contract." They also define this as a breach of trust, where a person has trusted that another will not publish their personal writings, photographs, or artwork, without their permission, including any "facts relating to his private life, which he has seen fit to keep private." And recognizing that technological advances will become more relevant, they write:
"Now that modern devices afford abundant opportunities for the perpetration of such wrongs without any participation by the injured party, the protection granted by the law must be placed upon a broader foundation."

In the United States today, "invasion of privacy" is a commonly used cause of action in legal pleadings. Modern tort law includes four categories of invasion of privacy:
  1. Intrusion of solitude: physical or electronic intrusion into one's private quarters.
  2. Public disclosure of private facts: the dissemination of truthful private information which a reasonable person would find objectionable
  3. False light: the publication of facts which place a person in a false light, even though the facts themselves may not be defamatory.
  4. Appropriation: the unauthorized use of a person's name or likeness to obtain some benefits.

martedì 3 aprile 2012


I followed the story through "El País" and spanish TV. Both, newspaper and television channel, have spent quite a lot 'of space to each other - a quarter of a page in the newspaper and several minutes of broadcasting. The article "El País" - "Obsessive, shy and insecure" - bore the subtitle 'Psychologies', The British magazine, publishes an interview with Penelope Cruz, but the actress denies categorically."

I don't understand: if there was no interview, why they report the content? (Or so they think normal people). But the problem is clearly in denial of the actress and the declaration of his lawyers, "we are considering what legal action to take."

If no one had uttered a word, the fake interview would almost certainly  pass over in silence. The strange thing is that once the piece has been denounced as a fruit of imagination, not just the media have rushed to investigate, but have published extensive excerpts. A few weeks ago, I have observed that a large percentage of the world's population don't care about truth.

But I fear that I have sinned by excessive caution, because what is happening is far more sinister: a large proportion of the population is no longer able to distinguish truth from falsehood, or, more accurately, reality from fiction . For this reason, the old Spanish adage "Calumnia, algo que queda" - "slandered, maligned, something will remain" - has lost all meaning and in fact nowadays it's rare to hear it again.

You may have noticed that even the use of the word 'slander' is endangered. Even his sense has evaporated, as happens with the words that define an anomaly - the transgression of the rules - when the anomaly becomes norm and habit. (If everyone lied without feeling guilty and without fearing the consequences, would vanish the very concept of a lie, to become 'a way as any to exercise their freedom of speech. "Believe me, I really miss the target).

The Spanish proverb should be changed to 'slander, defame, no one will notice it." The ease and speed with which any news or humbug spread on the Internet and all of the social net working sites, makes the task to stop false rumors and put an end to the misinformation almost impossible.

For example, when someone was quick to deny that Harrison Ford had died in a bizarre car accident in Europe - denying those rumors recently running on the Internet - many users will already have mentally filed the false report but they will be unable to remove it. Although few days after seeing a new movie with Ford, they will say: 'Hey, so he isn't dead' and when people will see him somewhere else, here overlook the reflection, "...And someone said he was dead"

The informations invented, more striking are, better effect can get - continue to emerge on several occasions, although it was dismissed as nonsense.

In my novel, Your Face Tomorrow, retrace the events that led to the death of Jayne Mansfield. In 1967, the actress traveled from Biloxi, Mississippi to New Orleans, when he suffered a car accident. Her blonde wig was thrown on the bumper, and this particular gave rise to the rumor that he had been skinned, or even beheaded, and his splendid head was rolled away along the dark road of Louisiana. To his admirers inconsolable, still numerous, the remembrance of his death is full of gruesome details that really are not true.

If the legend was already so entrenched in 1967, you can imagine how 42 years later, when rumors and hoaxes abound and you can not do anything to put them to silence, when any attempt to do just aggravates the situation, even when writers (well, the demagogues in our ranks) "invite" readers to "participate" in the plot of the book and "choose" the final, thus contravening the very essence of fiction, which excludes any amendment or action by ' outside, and when lots of people do not remain attached to a story or a macabre conspiracy theory even when its groundlessness has been amply demonstrated.

In an era where the media are so diversified and therefore more than capable of controlling and establishing the truth, the distinction between true and false appears more blurred every day, almost lost in a kind of magma. Knowing or telling the truth becomes increasingly irrelevant. After all, if truth and falsehood are placed on the same plane and the truth does not matter anymore, what's the difference?

Javier Marìas
© The New York Times Syndicate 


Cuando ya no se distinguen


26th Julio 2009

Lo vi en dos medios de comunicación que no se cuentan entre los más frívolos y sin escrúpulos, TVE y este periódico, luego cabe suponer que habrá aparecido en infinidad de ellos más. El tratamiento dado en estos dos no era parco –un buen rato en la televisión y un cuarto de página en El País, que titulaba “Obsesiva, insegura y discreta” y luego subtitulaba “La revista británica Psychologies publica una entrevista a Penélope Cruz y la actriz la desmiente de forma tajante”–. No entendí nada: si desde el primer momento se sabe que una entrevista es apócrifa y ni siquiera ha sido concedida, ¿qué hace la prensa dando pábulo a su contenido? Es probable que el problema sea el tajante desmentido de la actriz y el anuncio, por parte de sus abogados, de que “estudian qué medidas legales tomar”. De no haber dicho nadie nada, es casi seguro que esa entrevista inventada habría pasado inadvertida y pocos se habrían enterado de su existencia. Lo curioso del caso es que, al ser denunciada su falsedad, todos los medios no sólo acuden a ver en qué consiste esa falsedad, sino que además la reproducen una y otra vez con detalle. ¿Por qué, si ya se está al tanto de que nada de lo que ahí se atribuye a Cruz ha sido dicho por Cruz y, por lo tanto, ya no debería contar en un mundo seminormal? A lo sumo, la noticia tendría que haber sido el mencionado subtitular de este diario y nada más.

Dije aquí hace un par de semanas que a una gran parte de la población mundial la verdad ha dejado de importarle. Me temo que me quedé corto y que lo que ocurre es aún más grave: una gran parte de esa población es ya incapaz de distinguir la verdad de la mentira, o, más exactamente, la verdad de la ficción. Y por ello, el antiguo dicho español “Calumnia, que algo queda” ha perdido sentido y se oye cada vez menos. Para empezar, si ustedes se fijan, el verbo “calumniar” se emplea ya rara vez, y hasta su significado ha empezado a desvaírse y difuminarse, como suele ocurrir con los vocablos que definen algo anómalo –un quebranto de la regla– cuando la anomalía pasa a ser normal y la regla. (Si todo el mundo mintiera y además lo hiciera sin cargo de conciencia ni temor a las consecuencias, el concepto mismo de mentira quedaría privado de sentido y ésta quedaría tan sólo, probablemente, como “una forma más de ejercer la libertad de expresión”: camino de ello vamos, no se crean.) Hoy el dicho debería ser: “Calumnia, que nadie lo va a notar”, o “Calumnia, que tus calumnias acabarán nivelándose con la verdad”.

La velocidad y la facilidad con que cualquier patraña o rumor se expanden hoy por Internet y a través de los SMS hacen casi imposible atajar los bulos y las informaciones falsarias. Para cuando alguien avisa de que, por ejemplo, Harrison Ford no ha muerto en un estrafalario accidente en Europa, como se corrió por la red, habrá mucha gente que ya habrá “archivado” esa noticia en su cerebro y que será incapaz de borrarla del todo aunque a los pocos días vea a Ford con aspecto saludable en un estreno. Pensará: “Ah, pues no ha muerto en Europa”, y a la siguiente vez que lo vea es fácil que por su cabeza cruce rápidamente la idea: “Mira que contar que había muerto en Europa …” El dato inventado, cuanto más llamativo más, aparecerá y reaparecerá, aunque sólo sea para descartarlo como disparate.

En mi novela Tu rostro mañana hablé de la muerte de la actriz de los años cincuenta y sesenta Jayne Mansfield, una rubia platino mucho más exuberante que cualquier otra que ustedes puedan conocer o recordar. Sufrió un accidente de coche cuando iba de Biloxi a Nueva Orleans, y la peluca rubia que llevaba puesta salió disparada hasta el guardabarros, lo cual dio lugar a que corriera la voz de que había muerto escalpada, o bien decapitada y que su hermosa cabeza había rodado por aquella oscura carretera de Louisiana. La verdad ha sido incapaz de imponerse, y para la mayoría de sus aún numerosos y nostálgicos admiradores la idea de su muerte está teñida de una truculencia de la que careció. Si la fuerza de la leyenda era ya tan grande en 1967, imagínense cuarenta y dos años después, cuando los rumores y las invenciones vuelan; cuando no se les puede poner freno o si se les pone es peor, como en el reciente caso de Penélope Cruz y su anodina entrevista de paripé; cuando hasta los novelistas (bueno, los demagógicos) “permiten” que los lectores “intervengan” en la trama y “decidan” el final, negando así la esencia misma de las ficciones, que justamente no se pueden enmendar ni contradecir; cuando tanta gente no está dispuesta a prescindir de una historia si ésta es conspiratoria o macabra, por mucho que se haya comprobado su falsedad. En la época en que más medios hay para contrastar y verificar las informaciones, mayor es la indistinción entre lo verdadero y lo falso, confundidos en una especie de magma, y cada vez va teniendo menos sentido decir y saber la verdad. ¿Total, para qué, si ya casi pesa lo mismo que la mentira y apenas cuenta?

El País Semanal, 26 de julio de 2009

Did you know that gossip is a form of violence?

Have you ever been victim of gossip? People invent false stories about you, or maybe you told something confidentially to someone who has betrayed your trust? Although if we do not give much importance to some rumors, gossip is a form of violence can cause serious problems to those who are victims of it.

Veronica Vazquez Garcia, a researcher of Postgraduados, told BBC News that in some cases, gossip is used as a mechanism of social control, discrimination based on sexual preference or gender subjugation, especially against women.

Gossip as an instrument of violence occurs in all levels of society, although there are sectors that are particularly vulnerable as adolescents and women in rural communities.

The researcher Vázquez García has done several studies on the relationship between gossip and gender violence and its effects on students. Since students come from nearly all of Mexico, have allowed a more extensive in the country.

Who's most gossipy: men or women?

The surveys are part of the study and these revealed that both men and women are gossipy in the same way.

And also, as in other areas, this practice can become a mechanism of punishment, something that other researchers have found in several countries.

The victims of gossip can suffer from depression, low self esteem or adjustment problems, but strongly religious societies can have greater consequences.

"You start to say that this girl has a boyfriend and her father will not allow it. These girls could even be driven to suicide, "says Vazquez Garcia. According to researchers and civil organizations, gossip can pull over some people to kill themselves. In Mexico there are no statistics on the number of suicides because of it.

Gossip have varied topics as sexual, physical appearance or professional performance.
Some researchers claim that gossip is not always negative. According to them means they know information that otherwise would not know, this is in the social field. Such as institutions where there are no clear rules of operation: the lack of internal communication is replaced by the version told in hallways.

But gossip itself can damage the reputation of a good person. It is something much more serious than we think!


¿Sabías que el chisme es una forma de violencia?

¿Alguna vez has sido víctima de chismes? Inventan historias falsas de ti, o tal vez contaste algo confidencial a alguien de confianza que terminó defraudandote. Aunque a algunos chismes no le tomamos mucha importancia, el chisme es una forma de violencia que puede causar serios problemas a quienes lo padecen.

Verónica Vázquez García, una investigadora de Postgraduados, explicó a BBC Mundo que en algunos casos, el chisme es utilizado como mecanismo de control social, discriminación por preferencia sexual o sometimiento de género, especialmente contra las mujeres.

El chisme como instrumento de violencia ocurre en todos los niveles de las sociedades, aunque existen sectores que son particularmente vulnerables como los adolescentes y las mujeres de comunidades rurales.

La investigadora Vázquez García ha hecho varios estudios sobre la relación del chisme y la violencia de género y más efectos en sus estudiantes. Puesto que sus estudiantes provienen de casi todo México, le permitió tener un panorama más extenso del país.

¿Quienes son más chismosos: los hombres o las mujeres?

Las encuestas son parte del estudio y éstas revelaron que tanto los hombres y las mujeres son igual de chismosos.

Y también, como en otros espacios, esta práctica puede convertirse en un mecanismo de sanción, algo que otros investigadores han encontrado en varios países.

Las víctimas del chisme pueden sufrir depresión, baja autoestima o problemas de adaptación, pero en sociedades fuertemente religiosas pueden tener consecuencias mayores.

“Se empieza a decir que tal chica tiene novio y el padre no lo permite. A estas chicas las pueden hasta matar”, advierte Vázquez García. De acuerdo con investigadores y organizaciones civiles, los chismes pueden orillar a algunas personas a quitarse la vida. En México no hay estadísticas del número de suicidios cometidos por esta causa.

Los chismes tienen temas variados como de índole sexual, apariencia física o desempeño profesional.

Algunos investigadores afirman que el chisme no siempre es negativo. Según ellos mediante ellos se sabe información que de otro modo no se sabría, esto es en el ámbito social. Como por ejemplo, instituciones donde no hay reglas claras de funcionamiento: la falta de comunicación interna se sustituye por las versiones contadas en pasillos.

Pero un chisme sí puede perjudicar la reputación de una buena persona. ¡Es algo mucho más serio de lo que pensamos!

The bad habit of coming-out imposed by endless gossip

No one can be forced to come out (Ricky Martin)

Tori Spelling blames paparazzi after car crash

Tori Spelling was involved in a car accident on Monday morning, after allegedly being “chased” by the paparazzi, the star said in a post on her Twitter page.

Access Hollywood


“Paparazzi chased me w/the kids 2school. I was trying to get away from him and had a pretty big accident. Took down whole wall of school,” Spelling tweeted.

However, according to Spelling, who is pregnant, the accident didn’t deter the paparazzo from trying to get pictures of the celebrity mom and her kids, Stella, 3, and Liam, 4.
“He thn STILL got out to try to get pics,” she added. “10 school moms chased him away. Wht will it take? Someone dying for paparazzi to stop?”

Although she didn’t say in her tweet if anyone was hurt in the incident, Spelling — who confirmed her pregnancy in April — did indicate she was headed straight to the doctor’s office.

“Going to dr now to check on baby. I think its just shock,” she wrote.
Access caught up with Spelling's mother, Candy Spelling, at the Tony Awards on Sunday night in New York City, where Candy spoke about attending Stella’s third birthday party over the weekend in LA.

“Everybody was there. Denise Richards was there. All kinds of people were there,” Candy Spelling, who flew from LA to New York after the bash, told Access. “I had a great time.”

Candy Spelling also said she would soon be back in LA to join Tori, who was scheduled to go for an ultrasound appointment on Tuesday.

A rep for Spelling was not immediately available for comment for more information on the incident when contacted by Access Hollywood on Monday morning.
Additionally, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles Police Department had no knowledge of the incident when contacted by Access.

Paparazzi: modus operandi of jackals

It's illegal to murder someone, paparazzi killed princess Diana and it's still legal?

lunedì 2 aprile 2012

Penelope Cruz e l’intervista mai fatta Quando l’invenzione prevale sulla realtà

Lo scrittore Marìas riflette sul rapporto tra informazione e verità virtuale
Ho seguito la storia su «El País» e alla Tv spagnola. Sia il quotidiano che il canale televisivo hanno dedicato un bel po’ di spazio alla vicenda — un quarto di pagina nel giornale e diversi mi­nuti di telediffusione. L’articolo di «El País» — «Ossessiva, timida e insicura» — portava il sottotitolo «La rivista inglese 'Psycholo­gies' pubblica un’intervista con Penelope Cruz, ma l’attrice smen­tisce categoricamente». Non capisco: se non c’è stata nessuna intervista, perché riferirne il contenuto? (Almeno, così pensano le persone normali). Ma il problema sta indubbiamente nella smenti­ta dell’attrice e nella dichiarazione dei suoi avvocati, «stiamo valutando quali azioni legali in­traprendere ».
Se nessuno avesse fiatato, l’intervista fasulla sarebbe quasi certamente passata sotto silenzio. La strana cosa è che non appena il pezzo è stato denunciato come frutto di fantasia, ecco che i media non solo si sono precipitati a indagare, ma ne hanno pubblicato ampi stralci. Qualche settimana fa, ho avuto modo di osservare che una vasta percentuale della popolazione mondiale non si preoccupa più della verità. Temo però di aver peccato di eccessiva cautela, perché ciò che sta accadendo è di gran lunga più funesto: una vasta percentuale della popolazione oggi non è più in grado di distingue­re la verità dalla menzogna, oppure, per essere più precisi, la realtà dalla finzione. Per questo motivo, il vecchio adagio spagnolo «Calumnia, que algo queda» — «Calunniate, calunniate, qualcosa resterà» — ha perso ogni significato e difatti ai nostri giorni è raro sentirlo ripete re. Avrete notato che anche l’uso del verbo calunniare è in via di estinzione. Persino il suo senso è evaporato, come accade alle paro le che definiscono un’anomalia — la trasgressione alle regole — allorché l’anomalia si trasforma nella norma e nella consuetudine. (Se tutti mentissero senza sentirsi in colpa e senza temere le conseguenze, svanirebbe il concetto stesso di menzogna, per trasformarsi in «un modo come un altro per esercitare la propria libertà di parola». Credetemi, non manca molto al traguardo).
Il proverbio spagnolo dovrebbe essere modificato in «Calunniate, calunniate, nessuno se ne accorgerà». La facilità e la rapidità con le quali una qualsiasi voce o fandonia si diffonde su Internet e in tutti i siti del social net working rende pressoché impossibile il compito di bloccare le notizie false e di metter fine alla disinformazione. Per esempio, quando qualcuno si è affrettato a smentire che Harrison Ford avesse perso la vita in un bizzarro incidente stradale in Europa — sbugiardando così le dicerie che ultimamente si rincorrevano su Internet — moltissimi utenti avranno già archiviato mentalmente la falsa notizia ma saranno incapaci di cancellarla, anche se pochi giorni dopo vedono Ford a una prima cinematografica. Si diranno, «Toh, allora non è morto», e quando lo avvisteranno da qualche altra parte, ecco che si affaccerà la riflessione, «E pensare che lo davano per morto ». Il dato inventato — più sorprendente è, meglio è — continuerà a riemergere a più riprese, benché sia stato accantonato come una sciocchezza. Nel mio romanzo, Il tuo volto domani (Einaudi), ripercorro gli eventi che portarono alla morte di Jayne Mansfield. Nel 1967, l’attrice viaggiava da Biloxi, nel Mississippi, verso New Orleans, quando fu vittima di un incidente stradale. La sua parrucca bionda venne scagliata sul paraurti, e questo particolare fece nascere la voce che fosse stata scotennata, o addirittura decapitata, e che la sua splendida testa fosse rotolata via lungo quella strada buia della Louisiana. Per i suoi ammiratori inconsolabili, ancora oggi numerosissimi, il ricordo della sua morte gronda di particolari raccapriccianti che non ci furono mai.
Se la leggenda era già talmente radicata nel 1967, vi lascio immaginare come sia 42 anni dopo, quando abbondano dicerie e fandonie e non si può far nulla per metterle a tacere; quando qualsiasi tentativo in tal senso non fa che aggravare la situazione; quando persino gli scrittori (beh, i demagoghi tra le nostre file) «invitano » i lettori a «partecipare» alla trama del libro e a «scegliere» il finale, contravvenendo così all’essenza stessa della finzione letteraria, che esclude ogni emendamento o intervento dall’esterno; e quando tantissime persone resta no attaccate a una storia macabra o a una teoria della congiura anche quando la sua infondatezza è stata ampiamente dimostrata. In un’era in cui i media sono talmente diversificati e pertanto capacissimi di controllare e stabilire la verità, la distinzione tra vero e falso appare ogni giorno più offuscata, quasi smarrita in una specie di magma. Conoscere o dire la verità diventa sempre più irrilevante. Dopo tutto, se la verità e la menzogna vengono poste sul lo stesso piano e la verità non conta più niente, che differenza fa?
Javier Marìas
© The New York Times Syndicate (Traduzione di Rita Baldassarre)