Thursday, June 14, 2007

Angelina Jolie's version of Freedom of Press

FOXNews reported Angelina Jolie's true colors came out Wednesday as she promoted a film about freedom of the press and then tried to censor all her interviews.
But with Jolie, the press is free to do whatever she wants them to do, just not whatever they want to do.
Jolie is touting press freedom these days, playing the widow of murdered Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in a new movie called "A Mighty Heart." But Jolie turns out to be a mighty hypocrite when it comes to her own freedom of the press. Her lawyer required all journalists to sign a contract before talking to her, and Jolie instructed publicists at first to ban FOX News from the red carpet of her premiere.... Reporters were asked to agree to "not ask Ms. Jolie any questions regarding her personal relationships. In the event Interviewer does ask Ms. Jolie any questions regarding her personal relationships, Ms. Jolie will have the right to immediately terminate the interview and leave."
She is always free to not answer a question she does not want to answer, or to walk out, but the press should be free to report that she walked out and why.
The agreement also required that "the interview may only be used to promote the Picture. In no event may Interviewer or Media Outlet be entitled to run all or any portion of the interview in connection with any other story.
In other words she is willing to talk to mere press people as long as it will help her make money, but they can't use it for anything else, like reporting the news.
... The interview will not be used in a manner that is disparaging, demeaning, or derogatory to Ms. Jolie." If that wasn't enough, Jolie also requires that if any of these things happen, "the tape of the interview will not be released to Interviewer."
How are they going to run the story if they don't have the tape.
Such a violation, the signatory thus agrees, would "cause Jolie irreparable harm" and make it possible for her to sue the interviewer and seek a restraining order.
And who would be stupid enough to sign such an agreement.
Brian blogged Liberal hypocrites, I tell ya’. They bitch and moan about freedom of the press, but it quite literally scares the crap out of them when they have to face it head-on, doesn’t it?

Fox News scares the hell out of them because for the first time since television was created, there’s a media outlet that isn’t the mouthpiece of the Democratic Party.

Kim Priestap blogged A Hollywood star acting like the world revolves around her? Say it isn't so!

Gaius blogged Welcome to the land of Jolie, where she may preach at will, but you will remain silent. Now that this story is out, Jolie is in for a lot of derogatory comments. She has earned them.

Don Surber blogged Don’t write angry. That’s the first rule of blogging or writing columns and editorials. I am very close to breaking that rule in regards to Angelina Jolie’s desecration of the memory of Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter who was tortured and beheaded by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in Karachi, Pakistan on Feb. 1, 2002. Miss Jolie stars in a movie about Pearl’s wife. In promoting the movie, Miss Jolie wants to control what reporters write about her — and who reports.

CQ blogged I actually have some sympathy for celebrities and their issues with the media. Jolie and others put up with a lot of hounding and stalking from the tabloids, and exercising some controls over the boundaries of the interview doesn't seem unreasonable. Jolie doesn't have to answer any questions she deems out of bounds, and her criteria is entirely her business.

However, demanding that her answers never get used in any other context, and threatening reporters with restraining orders is not just unreasonable, but outright intimidation. It goes against the entire mission of Reporters Without Borders, and indeed against the notion of freedom of the press. I wonder if Jolie or her Hollywood friends would be as sanguine about these demands had they come from George Bush or Rudy Giuliani. Somehow, I think they'd be the first to demand a rush to the barricades.

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