In a surprising yet disturbing manner, Ashlee Alexandra Dupre‘s myspae page is still online as to 12:45 today, a day after her public appearance. It isn’t certain, but i can assume that her music career will only benefit from this. The fact that she did not remove her myspace page may seem promising if you’re a record producer that’s willing to get the next American Idol.
For those who weren’t updated with the earthly news, Dupre was the high-end prostitute which uncovered NY Governor, Eliott Spitzer in a prostitution ring (or actually as a client of sex services). Spitzer resigned and will probably be charged with some kind of felony (not that i understand why customers of sex-services are criminals) and will also have to do lot of ‘explainig’ to his wife. (on the fact that Spitzer was exposed by the same wiretaps he advocated for during 2004 I shall post later on i guess). However, within a day’s work, like any other internet meme, Ashlee Alexandra Dupre spread all over the net like a virus while being portrayed as an innocent starlet, sexy and progressive; the fact that she received money for sex services became, instantly, to a minor detail.
Dupre and Spitzer’s story contains all the characters for a good story: Sex, Politics, Internet and Music. The only question is how much was Dupre, which didn’t have a choice but to be dragged into this, had to be exposed for this story to become public? A few months ago i blogged about the problems with prohibiting publishing of photographs taken on public places following a disturbing bill by Yuval Steinitz. The idea was that the press cannot be prohibited from reporting, as the public needs to know.
Indeed, the public needs to know everying: it needs to know that the governor of New-York uses sex-services, it needs to know who the hooker that slept with him is, he also, g-dammit, needs to know what is the Governor’s penis size and whether he came all over her face, had anal sex with her or that she chewed on his scrotum since that’s the way he likes it (In case i wasn’t clear enough, I was being sarcastic)
Using sex services by two consenting adults should not be a felony; using sex services may not be different from going to therapy, having mental or health problems and using sex services may not be different from a person’s fidelity to his wife. It’s not that the media should not publish these things, but it’s that the media that should allow a person to gather relevant information about his leaders, and as long as prostitution is not a crime (and, apparently, it is in NY), there is no need to publish the prostitute’s name or the fact that the governor needed one.
Any person has the right to be let alone (Olmstead v. United States). The only question is whether this right includes duties from the government only or also the media and other individuals. Maybe I’ll be more practical in this explaination: a week ago, Orit Kamir published a note about sexual harassment at the IDC which links to this article which tells the story about a lecturer who harassed a student. What interested most of the people was who was the lecturer, I refrained from going to the comment section to avoid looking at it, I think i grew up, but did the media grow up?
I think the media needs to grow up. The media needs to move its focus from the gossip type of information and focus on what’s important: giving quality criticism on the government. Maybe Steinitz’s bill is not the right one, but the details and people need to have their considerations and stop with the big titles in order to sell more copies and advertisements.