George Graham

Celebrity Peeping Toms


I am no monarchist. But when some jerk takes a picture of Princess Kate’s wind-exposed posterior and a newspaper actually publishes it, I am outraged.

I can guess the photographer’s motive. Money. He figured someone somewhere would pay a bundle for the shot.

But as a former newspaper editor, I can’t imagine why the editor published it. Was it a slap in the face to the British? Was the picture’s publication meant as a provocation, perhaps?

I hope it’s something less sinister.  I hope the German editor was driven only by a desire for increased readership.

I know there is a mass market for these pictures, although I don’t know anyone who actually belongs to that readership group.

Who, for example, buys a publication to look at revealing photos of Mylie Cyrus? And why?

Is it titillation that motivates them? Or are they driven by envy and get pleasure from publications that embarrass the rich and famous?

Whatever the allure that keeps them in business, the paparazzi seem to be thriving.

Celebrities in America are fighting back, and states are contemplating laws to protect their privacy. California has actually passed a law to shield the stars’ children from intruding photographers.

There should be international laws to keep the paparazzi in check.

It’s all very well to justify this kind of trash as “free speech,” but I don’t buy that argument. It is not just disgusting; it is dangerous. The paparazzi killed Princess Diana. I’m sure you remember that horrible tragedy.

I don’t know what legal recourse, if any, is available to Prince William and Princess Kate (shown at right arriving in New Zealand with baby George).

I understand Prince William has filed a criminal complaint against a French magazine that earlier published pictures of Kate sunbathing while on vacation.Perhaps German law provides for court action against the magazine that published the Duchess of Cambridge’s windblown picture.

And there’s something else the royal couple can do.

They can refrain from visiting countries where their privacy is not protected, and countries that permit the publication of pictures that embarrass and humiliate them.

Indeed, I would suggest that British subjects strike these countries off their vacation list. It was money that drove the photo’s publication. Perhaps money – or the loss of it – will motivate governments to better protect the privacy of their visitors.

Click for the story.

Click for more on the California law.

About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for


  • Barack Obama is the first black American to become president of the United States. As with any “first,” especially one with such Herculean expectations from all over the world, much is expected of him. I have always known racism continues to exist in the U.S., but until this presidency, I did not realize how deep, how ugly, how far-reaching racism still is. Fox News and racist Americans will jump on the president on any issue no matter which way he turns. I, too, wish he would just ignore the racist idiots. This man has incredible personal courage, but he also has this belief that he can be color-blind, that he can represent all Americans. So, wanting to not show prejudice, he was too quick to judge a black woman who was falsely and unjustly accused by bigots. Yes, President Obama probably is somewhat afraid of white people. He lived with his white mother and grandparents, but when he went to school or anywhere outside his home, he experienced the same racism as other black Americans. In his book “Dreams From My Father,” he wrote that on the basketball court….”I could find a community of sorts, with an inner life all its own. It was there that I would make my closest white friends, on turf where blackness couldn’t be a disadvantage.” There, too, he said, he met other blacks close to his age who had “begun to trickle into the islands, teenagers whose confusion and anger would help shape my own.” He began to hear from these black youths such comments as “That’s just how white folks will do you.” Thinking about the comment, he recalled the first boy, in seventh grade, “who called me a coon;” the boy’s “tears of surprise and ‘Why’dya do that?’ …when I gave him a bloody nose. The tennis pro who told me during a tournament that I shouldn’t touch the schedule of matches pinned up to the bulletin board because my color might rub off; his thin-lipped, red-faced smile–‘Can’t you take a joke?’…when I threatened to report him. The older woman in my grandparents’ apartment building who became agitated when I got on the elevator behind her and ran out to tell the manager that I was following her; her refusal to apologize when she was told that I lived in the building. Our assistant basketball coach, a young, wiry man from New York… who, after a pick-up game with some talkative black men, had muttered within earshot of me and three of my teammates that we shouldn’t have lost to a bunch of niggers; and who, when I told him – with a fury that surprised even me – to shut up, had calmly explained the apparently obvious fact that “there are black people and there are niggers. Those guys are niggers.” Our first black president has unique experiences that I believe will make him a great president. Yes, he too quickly allowed others to judge a woman who has been greatly maligned and greatly hurt by an untruth. I can only imagine the sorrow he feels for her and his sadness for his part in it. He is learning and the time will come when he will give the bully a bloody nose.

  • Sandra, what a wonderful explanation! Well written, insightful and should be published far and wide! Billy G.

  • This is another reason why Black Americans should not give 90% support to the Democrats. When you do that, infighting begins. Sad to say but many Blacks still have that plantation mentality; they will do anything to get into the “Big House” and if it means throwing another Black overboard, then so be it. Many have been programmed to behave like “good niggers who won’t upset the apple cart”; many still seek White approval or crumbs.
    • Its problematic to be an independent and not give 100% to the Democratic
    • Its problematic to wear dreads, natural nappy hair or braids in corporate America
    What is wrong with being an owner, who produce and distribute? Why should Blacks be workers and consumers, while the Arabs and Koreans exploit the community? No, I am not racist buy why should I be a passive person and not question what no other community allow to occur in their neighborhood, media or workplace?

  • I agree with Janice. And I believe that the Democrats are a bunch of wimps, only wanting to be elected. I think Bush is an idiot and inneffective, but Bush would have stood by his people. It seems as if every time a white pulls a string Obama moves – thats is indeed gutless.