Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Privacy & the media

There are some things best left unsaid. Like the private lives of people, no matter how big a personality they are. I don't read gossip mags because I hate how it intrudes into their private lives, I always imagine if it was me that they was reporting about... how would I feel. So that's why I don't read them. Unless of course, they were doing a misdeed that involves corruption.

Malaysians are really busybodies. They just love to intrude into other's private lives. Take for example, the girl Sufiah Yosuf. The trash newspaper News Of The World did an expose about her being an escort. For a few days, the local press had statements of people who were shocked at what she did and how she 'ended' up like that.

Then, the News Of The World did a follow up interview with her. She said she was happy and enjoying what she does. I say, let her be. She's happy and content and it's a free world. Unless she contracts some STD, she's okay.

Basically, she's not even a Malaysian. The only link Malaysians have with her is that her mother is a Malaysian. Other than that, she's a British national and she has every right to do what is legal in UK. The Malaysian moral police should look elsewhere to police.

Malaysians in general are just so uptight about sexuality. The media is opposed to homosexuality; nudity; free sex and any other form of sex that is not describe in a holy book.

Local media always adopt the holier than thou approach. The former health minister rightly mentioned this after he was secretly video taped having sex in a hotel. To me, he did a pretty good job as a Health Minister, having an extra marital affair didn't affect his job, just his family. Did it affect his integrity? Maybe, probably... I don't know. What I do know is that the Media had a field day crucifying him. The Malaysian media... enforcer of the social norms. 'Don't conform, get out' seems to be their motto.

Well, what about the integrity of the local mainstream media? After their performance in reporting the general election, I think we all know how well their credibility stands. Who are they to tell others what to do, if they themselves can't hold the highest standards?

While they might not write editorial pieces on condemning the ex-minister, they sneakily interviewed other 'experts' and had them do the crucifying. I'm sure they could always find someone to crucify anyone, but what about a fair and balance report? What about those who stood up for him? Where were their soundbites and interviews? Buried in a small paragraph in the next few pages?

Anything you do behind closed doors in the privacy of your own home should remain private, unless it affects others. If you're having consensual sex, no one should have the right to intrude on you 'to find out' if you should be having sex with that person... unless you're making too much noise and bothering the neighbours.

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