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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 19, 2013/ 13 Elul, 5773

No, we don't have a right to pry into the private lives of celebrities

By Mitch Albom








http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | What do we, the public, have the right to know about celebrities?

This past week, Prince Fielder, the Tigers' superstar, was defended by a teammate, Torii Hunter, during a radio interview. Hunter suggested that Fielder, who has struggled at the plate, was dealing bravely with off-field issues and continuing to work hard every day.

It was only a few words, Hunter trying to defend his pal, but the effect was to pop a cork on a bottle. Suddenly, people breathlessly wondered what could be plaguing the highly paid slugger? And while Fielder himself said everything was fine, the media began scurrying.

Soon after, a blog report surfaced that Fielder had filed for divorce back in May. Fielder did not reveal this. But someone did a search through court records near his off-season home in Florida. There, because the law demands it, paperwork had to be filed. And there, because the law demands it, that paperwork is accessible to anyone who knows how to properly search for it.

The result? Bang! Instant headlines across the country, including in the Detroit Free Press. Fielder's divorce, quiet for months, was suddenly worldwide news. And just as suddenly, fans started speculating on things like: how bitter, how much, who was at fault, etc.?

It's human nature, right?

Well, perhaps we should think more about human nature in this right-to-know era of news reporting. No one apologized to Fielder. No one hesitated to report his divorce. Once it was out there, it seemed fair game.


But why? What does his married life have to do with baseball? Could the divorce be affecting his play? Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe it's a sore shoulder. Maybe it's a swing adjustment. Maybe he's fighting with a sibling. Maybe a business deal went bad. Maybe he needs his eyes checked. Maybe it's just -- how about this for radical concept? -- a slump or an off year.

Not everyone reacts the same way to issues. Miguel Cabrera was arrested for drunken driving in February 2011; with that hanging over his head, he had one of his best seasons. You simply cannot assume connections.

I am glad I was not assigned to ask Fielder about his marriage issues, because I wouldn't have done it. I refuse to ask him about his love life unless he says he wants to talk about it or his wife pulls on a uniform and bats cleanup.

Maybe this is my age showing. Or maybe it's my weariness at our business thumping its chest over what public figures "owe" the public.

First of all, what's a "public figure" anymore? With reality TV, everyone is a camera lens away from celebrity. Does that mean everyone surrenders all rights to privacy? Two, we in the media sometimes treat the Freedom of Information Act as a tacit blessing to report anything, shirking our responsibility to one another as human beings.

FOIA, it should be remembered, was established in the 1960s as a means to keep the federal government from hiding sensitive information from its citizens. Not so we could pull up every Internet morsel of a person's existence.

But that's what it has engendered. Decades ago, a Detroit reporter would have had to travel to Florida, find where Fielder lived and sift through files of courthouse paperwork -- if allowed -- just to locate a document concerning his divorce. Chances are no newspaper would bother with the time or expense.

But today, it can all be done with computers. And since everyone seems to be a blogger, all it takes is one overly curious person and the cyberspace monster is globally fed.

I feel badly for Fielder. I know his parents. Know they went through a tough divorce. And I imagine that affected him, as divorce affects all children. Now he has children of his own facing a similar hurdle.

He doesn't owe me details. He doesn't owe you. We may watch him play, but we don't pay him. If his bosses want to ask how divorce is affecting his swing, that's their issue. Last I looked, being a celebrity didn't mean you lost the right to have problems -- or surrendered the right to confront them in peace.

I actually saw a recent "Nightline" report on two famous actresses pleading to protect their children from paparazzi. The response from a celebrity magazine editor? "No one told them they had to have children."

Really?

Fielder is just another statistic in the envy-based, build-them-up-then-knock-them-down world we live in. But someday, this right-to-know attitude is going to bite enough people that the right to other things finally will affect a change. I hope I live to see the day.





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