March 20, 2010

Deputies respond to Sandra Bullock home due to paparazzi disturbance

Sheriff's deputies were back at Sandra Bullock's Sunset Beach home today because a neighbor reported a disturbance by the paparazzi, who have flocked to the area in the wake of the Oscar-winner's recent marital strife, a sheriff's sergeant said.
``Someone in the media was reportedly yelling at the house,'' Orange County sheriff's Sgt. John Meyer said.
By the time deputies arrived, the disturbance was over. No arrests were made and no citations issued, he said.
On Friday, neighbors complained about about the swarm of photographers and reporters assembled outside the home of Sandra Bullock and Jesse James, but sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino said that no laws had been broken and no violations committed.
The paparazzi and reporters have camped out in the area since James issued an apology for admitting an affair with graffiti model Michelle ``Bombshell'' McGee while Bullock was shooting ``The Blind Side.'' Bullock won a best actress Academy Award for her work in the picture.

March 17, 2010

What Journalists Should Learn From the Paparazzi

It took me years of searching, but I think I finally found the aggressive, audacious, uncompromising media our democracy needs.

While channel-surfing the other day, I came across a fresh-faced, young reporter for a cable network aggressively following an important person around an airport and refusing to let up with his questions. The unwilling interviewee grew angry, suddenly snapping and shouting at the reporter to leave him alone.

“Do you think you’re immune to questions?” the reporter shouted back repeatedly.
I was speechless. “Do you think you’re immune to questions?” It was perfect—such a simple and powerful question.

This would have been the most hopeful piece of journalism I had seen in years if it weren’t for one small detail: This was not a journalist from CNN or Fox or MSNBC. In fact, this wasn’t even a journalist at all. And the important person? No, he wasn’t a politician or a Wall Street CEO or a government official.

The exchange was between an E! network reporter and a Hollywood celebrity.
And that’s when it clicked. Could the news media learn something from the paparazzi?

The paparazzi paradigm shift

Sounds ridiculous, right? But hear me out. Just a few seconds after I watched this exchange, my channel surfing landed me on C-SPAN, where I watched members of the press pool ask lame questions about President Obama’s smoking habits instead of probing ones about healthcare legislation.

I started to imagine that paparazzi reporter in the press pool, doggedly pursuing a line of questioning and refusing to take “no comment” for an answer. In an age of woefully tame media, old D.C. journos could learn a thing or two from reporters traditionally considered at the bottom of the news industry’s barrel. Imagine if Washington journalists were as aggressive and relentless as a paparazzo desperately trying to get a Brangelina quote. Imagine if the media demanded real answers from the Wall Street investment firms who tanked the economy, got a taxpayer bailout and then paid out exorbitant bonuses to executives.

If aggressive, unremitting paparazzi reporters were on Capitol Hill and Wall Street to hound our lawmakers and CEOs, we might finally get some answers—and persuade them to actually work in the public’s interest. Picture the paparazzi crushing our flabbergasted elected officials with cameras and questions as they leave closed-door meetings, asking over and over, “Who was in the room? What was said?”
The mortgage crisis might not seem as sexy as the sordid love life of the Twilight casts, but with continually aggressive questioning of the bankers, policymakers and lobbyists who wield so much power, we might actually avoid future financial disasters, foreign wars and corrupt elections.

Media twilight zone

The news media should collectively be a watchdog for the public interest, but they seem to have lost their bite. Has it really gotten so bad that I’m left wishing that Los Angeles’ finest trash-talking shutterbugs were on Capitol Hill?

It’s starting to feel like we’re stuck in the Media Twilight Zone. Mainstream media are increasingly using cost-cutting measures like slashing jobs and reorienting their newsroom staff to cover the kind of “soft” and cheap-to-produce entertainment and gossip stories that the paparazzi specialize in. Today it seems that journalists aren’t celebrated for publishing a hard-hitting story—they’re celebrated just for asking a few hard-hitting questions. In other words, we have come to expect journalism that doesn’t actually challenge those in power. When journalists actually do, we start handing out awards. But asking hard questions shouldn’t be an award-winning feat: it should be the norm.

But it’s no use to blame the journalists. Consolidated media has meant only a certain kind of journalist makes it to the top and gets press credentials: the type who ask softball questions that politicians can hit with their eyes closed – and that don’t compromise the media companies’ own interests. I’m ready for a new media era where reporters have bosses who actually want them to get the story, and where the news isn’t run like a corporation, by and for corporations.

What I want will take big structural changes – the kind that will put reporters back to work, pump more money into our public media system to pay for journalism and ensure that those who ask the tough questions aren’t denied the benefits of an open Internet.

Still, with CNN’s homepage regularly plastered with celebrity “news”—will the Tiger Woods saga ever end?—it doesn’t seem unfair to ask journalists to learn a basic lesson from the paparazzi: Don’t take no for an answer.

This was first published by

March 16, 2010

Cloak Camera Bag Hides Your Camera Until The Last Possible Moment

Paparazzi or no paparazzi, if you’re carrying an SLR shaped camera you’re gonna get some looks.  If it ain’t the wannabe celebs sneering at you it’s the locals rolling their eyes at your benign tourist interests.

But now you can move freely amongst the elite in a discreet fashion thanks to the cloak bag.  This handy bag – it’s actually more of case – snugly holds your camera and when that time arrives for a quick snap shot, you just flip open either end, stuff your hands through the side inserts and start shooting.  So you see, you never have to remove the camera from the bag, and when you’re done with your snooping you just sling it back over your should like any everyday bag.

March 13, 2010

50 Cent bodyguard scuffles with paparazzi?

50 Cent bodyguard scuffles with paparazzi?50 Cent's bodyguard has reportedly got in a fight with photographers.

According to TMZ, the man was taken into custody after he scuffled with several paparazzi outside a hotel in Copenhagen.

The police are holding the suspect for 24 hours pending a decision on whether they want to bring the incident to trial.

A rep for 50 Cent has yet to comment on the matter.

March 9, 2010

'Bachelor' Wedding Paparazzi Sue ABC

Two paparazzi tossed out just before last month's taping of "The Bachelor" wedding have sued for battery and false imprisonment.
     Eric Brogmus and Maximiliano Lopez Jr. say O & R Protective Services, Disney/ABC Television Group and the show's producer, Next Entertainment, "breached their duty of reasonable conduct by attacking and detaining or authorizing the attack and retention" of the two men who say they were "lawfully on a public place."
     The two were taking pictures of "Bachelor" couple Jason Mesnick and Molly Malaney before the couple's Feb. 27 wedding near the Tarranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. A video clip
     The lawsuit doesn't describe the incident, but says guard Jose Antonio Revilla "and several of his agents ... attacked, detained and made false claims" against the two photographers.
     Lopez and Brogmus were arrested by Los Angeles officials on suspicion of misdemeanor battery and unlawful blocking of a sidewalk, according to the Los Angeles Times. Prosecutors decided there wasn't enough evidence to charge the men.
     The two seek unspecified damages for medical expenses and lost earnings.
posted on shows a security guard choking one of the photographers and taking him to the ground.

March 2, 2010

Robert Pattinson shares his paparazzi nightmare at “Remember Me” premiere

The Robert Pattinson starrer “Remember Me” release is just around the corner as we are less than a fortnight away from the highly awaited movie. And why is it highly hyped? It’s hyped because the vampire from Twilight who melted millions of heart throughout the world with his role of Edward Cullen will be appearing in his first major movie outside the Twilight banner.

Robert Pattinson and co-star Emilie de were seen on March 1st at the premiere of Remember Me held at the Paris Theater in NYC. In an interview at the premier Robert was asked about how it really felt when all his fans crazily run after him and cause trouble.
The Twilight stud who plays an everyday young guy who falls in love with a sweet girl at the same time coping with family tragedies in “Remember Me” said it’s not the fans that trouble him, but it’s the paparazzi.

Why is that? The star justified by saying its not the fans who make money out of chasing stars, they just like to catch a glimpse of them, root for them and maybe me get an autograph but it’s the paparazzi who would go to any extent to intrude in their private lives and cover moments which are meant to be private.