Media And Bryant: Garden Variety Voyeurism?

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The accuser of Los Angeles Laker star Kobe Bryant can expect no real privacy in these days of instant Internet communication, the New York Times says. “Anonymity is, you have to go on line or listen to the radio to find out a person’s name as opposed to just turning on the TV,” said Susan Estrich, a professor at the law school of the University of Southern California. “When you’ve got a high profile defendant in a highly competitive news environment and the Internet era, you’re not going to get any protection.”

Newspapers and television networks have protested a judge’s order that they not disclose the woman’s name, citing an “unconstitutional prior restraint on the publication of truthfully and lawfully obtained information on a matter of public concern.”

Mark Crispin Miller of New York University commented that, “The First Amendment was supposed to make the government vulnerable to constant oversight by a vigorous press. It had nothing to do with stuff like this….This is garden variety voyeurism. With all due respect to Kobe Bryant, it is not a major news story, but it is now, because we live in a culture of celebrity gossip that comes packaged as news.”


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