Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Printing Rihanna's name: "fair game"?

The Huffington Post reports that "The Los Angeles Times went where other news organizations would not: it identified pop singer Rihanna as Chris Brown's alleged assault victim."

This is not, the HuffPo points out, standard procedure. But the author of the article, Andrew Blankstein, claimed that the "public nature" of the case made Rihanna "fair game". This is despite the fact that the LAPD refused to confirm her identity, citing state laws meant to protect victims of abuse.

Since when does a woman's fame make a difference in terms of her right to privacy? But Blankstein apparently could not resist, and he was fairly blatant about his desire to publicize the case by attaching Rihanna's name - he claimed that one of the reasons that he named Rihanna was because of "the backdrop of the Grammys."

There is little enough respect for victims of sexual and domestic abuse in this country. Let's not add to it by discounting rights to privacy, simply because the victim was just on TV.

There's a lively discussion about this happening at Feministing, too.


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