Reporters Should Emulate Paparazzi

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Nobody likes paparazzi. They were blamed for Princess Diana's death, implicated in Britney Spears's breakdown, and have a reputation for endlessly pestering their subjects. But it's this latter quality that gave Candace Clement an idea the other day as she watched a "fresh-faced, young reporter" badgering a celebrity on TV. She was stunned by the reporter's cutting retort--"Do you think you're immune to questions?"--after a Hollywood celebrity yelled at the reporter to leave him alone.

What if more mainstream reporters hounded politicians and bankers this way? Clement wonders:
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.
News media may be more willing to recognize paparazzi work than formerly, given the recent praise for the National Enquirer over the John Edwards affair. When we start hounding our politicians as relentlessly as our Hollywood figures, suggests Clement, "we might finally get some answers."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.