What are some classical examples of how intrusion of media has harmed public personalities. Please provide links to the web.What are some classical examples of how intrusion of media has harmed...

What are some classical examples of how intrusion of media has harmed public personalities. Please provide links to the web.

What are some classical examples of how intrusion of media has harmed public personalities. Please provide links to the web.

Expert Answers
literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I am not necessarily sure what you mean by 'classical examples', but here is what I think you are asking: What are some examples of how the media has intruded on the lives of public personalities in regards to texts (writings)?

Give that any many forms of text is considered literature, I did not move this question to another topic.

The media, as given the right by the Constitution, is allowed to to the line of invading privacy when it comes to the lives of public personalities. That being said, the term public adds a dimension to the phrase given people typically consider things deemed public as being something with which they have certain rights to.

There are many different ways media has been accused of infringing upon the rights of people, especially those 'in the spotlight.'

Unauthorized biographies- authors simply write about a person without their consent. The use of the word unauthorized seems to give the author the right to interpret the person's life in any way they deem necessary. This means that some, to much, of the information presented in the book could be fictitious.

Link to Unauthorized Biographies:


Gossip Magazine- Magazines which mirror unauthorized biographies are harmful to public personalities as well. This magazines write articles based upon information witnesses claim to have or know. Like the unauthorized biography, information can be highly prejudicial and fictitious.

Link to example of Gossip Magazine-


There, given the explosion of technology, are more ways than ever for the media to invade the privacy of public personalities. Video cameras, cell phones, computer/phone hacking all take advantage of the ability for one to find out anything about another person. Celebrities are, typically, at the front of the scandals. The news media, magazines, and on-line blogging sites are filled with gossip, photos, quips, and assumptions based upon which personality is doing what.

That being said, personal blogs which write about public personalities have exploded on the web. Here is a link to two of the more popular sites:



mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

An American politician, senator, author, commentator, and attorney who was a presidential candidate in 1984 and again in 1988.  A rising star, things looked very, very positive for Mr. Hart's securing the Democratic nomination until a picture of him with a young woman named Donna Rice on his lap as they were on a yacht named "Monkey Business" was disseminated throughout the media. 

Although many citizens thought that the overexposure of Hart's infidelity was unfair and had little to do with his ability to govern the country, Hart dropped out of the race and out of the media that persisted in publishing this photo.  Here is one account of this incident:

Former National Security Council member Roger Morris suggests in his book Partners in Power, the Clintons and Their America that the alleged Hart-Rice sex scandal was really an intelligence operation to deny Hart the presidency. CIA agent Chip Tatum claims to have been tasked with "neutralizing" Hart. Hart's biggest offense, according to Morris, was his advocacy of "further investigation and exposure of the alliance between the mob and the US intelligence community." (wikipedia)

pacorz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Carol Burnett made legal history in 1981 when she won $1.6 million in a defamation suit against the National Enquirer, which reported her as drunk in public. She donated the money to charity, saying she brought the suit as a matter of principle. This case began a long string of suits against the paper and other tabloids - at the moment, the National Enquirer is being sued by singer Mindy McCready ($50 million for defamation and subsequent lost income), actress Ashley Olson ($40 million for defamation and harm to her career), and Tammy Tousignant, who is also suing Gawker and the Daily Mail - the three repeatedly named her as Arnold Schwarzenegger's mistress and mother of his "love child". At this point the story of Arnold's affair has become quite public...but Ms. Tousignant is not the "other woman".

For a reliable resource on this topic, you might want to check out http://www.stinkyjournalism.org/


Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One early classic example is how the intrusion of the media harmed the chances of one-time U.S. Presidential hopeful and front-runner Gary Hart. Some may say a philandering Senator from Colorado may have deserved the exposure--but such behavior didn't stop a philandering Senator from Boston from becoming President--but this is an aside to your question. A recent, though classic, example of how media intrusion has harmed a public personality is the story of sensational--and sensationally popular--singer Susan Boyle. A plain and simple person going about her business, including the pursuit of a dream, was hounded to a merciless and near-tragic extend by media intrusion.

brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I have a hard time calling the paparazzi "media", as I don't think what they do has much to do with gathering information as it is trying to embarrass or provoke public personalities.  In the case of Princess Diana of Britain, they hounded her and her boyfriend, leading to a high speed car crash which killed the Princess, who they then photographed.  A free press is crucial to the existence of a democracy, but people should have some reasonable rights of privacy from the press that can be enforced.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would think that the life of anyone in Great Britain who has been caught up in the phone hacking scandal could be an example of this process.  Many public personalities in England have been harmed by intrusive media prying into their public lives.  The person who comes most easily to mind for me is Ryan Giggs, the Manchester United player.  The media's intrusion into his private life has caused him a great deal of trouble.  As this link shows, he is now suing over the hacking of his phone.

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There was the famous example of the "Diana Tapes" that contained evidence of the late Princess Diana's infidelity. This is a very famous, classic example of the invasion of privacy. As #3 points out, if you want a more contemporary example of this that is being played out as we speak, look at the UK and the way that The News of the World hacked into people's phone conversations for long periods of time.

bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A more recent example of celebrity scandal concerns golfer Tiger Woods. The seemingly squeaky-clean was involved in an automobile accident near his Orlando home which the media picked up on right away. Soon, his private life was exposed, and he lost not only his wife but millions of dollars in endorsements.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
Maybe by classical you mean classic? Good, or original, in other words. What came to mind for me was Evlis Presley. He was obviously incredibly popular, but at the end of his career was also a source of public ridicule for letting himself go to pot. This is probably one of the first examples.