Saturday, September 26, 2009

Are First Daughters Fair Game?

THE SPANISH MEDIA are legally barred from running images of their prime minister's teenage daughters. The rationale is that the daughters are not public figures and, therefore, they have a right to privacy.

Well, the Spanish delegation came to the United Nations, kids in tow, and they met President Obama. Then they had their picture taken with Obama by a State Department photographer. The images were put on the State Department's flickr site. The Spanish media found the images and ran the above, distorted version in some newspapers.

Should the Spanish media have withheld the images (which are the first ever public images of the two girls)? Are the children of sitting United States presidents fair game for the media? Or should the media refrain from running or airing images of politicians' children?

18 comments:

Written Light Photos said...

The president doesn't have pictures taken because he really wants to tape a shot of the Spanish prime minister's family right up next to his other bff's. It's all for publicity.

If the prime minister wanted to protect the anonymity of his daughters, he shouldn't have let them be in the picture- the entire point of the shot was to be published. If they let the picture be taken, it's fair game for anyone.

Aleks Molnar said...

Obviously, we have no control over what the Spanish media chooses/can/cannot run in their respective country. But if the picture is taken here, on our soil, it's fair game for our media.

If the Spanish PM wishes to keep his daughters anonymous, then it's a moral issue with media outlets. However there is nothing the PM can do to stop them from being run. Sorry.

As for the children of sitting presidents being fair game: they are. It's comes with the position their father took, just the same as any public figure, political or entertainer, has. With the Obamas, its a bit more of a big deal because its the first time young children have been in the White House since the Kennedeys. The media hasn't played it up as much as they could have, but it doesn't change that they are in the public's eye, whether they want to be or not.

Geo said...

But we didn't elect the children. We elected the politicians.

You still think the kids are fair game for the media?

- George
(the teacher and full-time devil's advocate)

Aleks Molnar said...

It comes with the title and publicity. Did Apple or Moses Paltrow/Martian ask for the image? Nope. It was thrust upon them because of their parents. Is media attention on the kids morally right? Probably not. But it still happens, and it's fair game.

Lisa Jiang said...

It's not as if his daughters were in their homes or something. & the picture was taken in America. In my opinion, I think it's fair game.

Jacki said...

The Spanish media shouldn't have run the pictures if they are legally prohibited from doing so. The issue is less clear in terms of the American media, where there aren't similar rules. I think that a small amount of media attention surrounding the families of political figures should be expected and is not terribly harmful. However, prying into the family's private life (remember Bristol Palin?) is unacceptable.

NewsNut said...

There could be two answers in this case. Was it a compassionate or respectful move on the part of the Spanish Media? No, it was not. However, if the children were at the event posing for pics with their parents, then one has to ask what did their parents think was going to happen. They should have taken better precausions. You can not expect the media to always behave in the most respectful way nor to have the best intentions. You must hope for the best but prepare for the worst when in a being a public figure. It's just part of game.

Edward Bristow said...

I believe the laws preventing the pictures of the teenage children being prevented from being shown is a good move, and should be enforced in our country also. I say this because it makes sense to me as the presidents children shouldn't have a face in the media as they aren't making decisions in our office, and since this is so they do not need to be in our media. Having their faces in the papers and on television could endanger them while they are in school and or out in public, whether in the presence of their family or not. The first lady is a different story as you would normally see her along with the president at presidential dinners, and on some foreign policy trips, and as the presidents wife, she may have a little say in some of the decisions her husband may have trouble with, if not have some knowledge of at least.

Caron Lee said...

They weren't prying into the private lives of these children. And if it is so unacceptable, why did the Prime Minister have his children in the picture in the first place? Of course his own country would publish the pictures, and it seems ridiculous that they blurred their faces.

William Carlson said...

The Spaniards are just bummed out that the children are wearing 18-hole Doc Martens and look like they are on their way home from dancing all night at a goth club. My advise is that they don't pose with internationally famous heads of state if they value their privacy. If you have a photo session with one of the most recognizable men in the world don't be surprised when it gets printed. The fact that they have laws prohibiting covering them in Spain and they are posing with the President MAKES IT NEWS. Ethical news? That's debatable. Next time they should pass up on scheduled photo opportunities. They could always ask daddy to leave politics.

Sarah Eve said...

Regardless, children of political figures don't belong in the media. It's a ploy to make the candidate look more relateable. I wonder how Chelsea Clinton feels about her awkward years in floral print dresses being broadcast all over the world?

Anonymous said...

From the looks of these trolls it might be a good thing that their images are barred.

Anonymous said...

Sorry that was mean, but really george is right they elected the prime minister not the girls. They are not activly pursuing press. They did not choose to be the ugly daughters of the prime minister they fell into it. Also he is the Prime Minister he can say what ever he wants. If he says he doesn't want his children in the press than you should respect his wishes. He can make that claim about them he couldn't make that claim for himself. He knew what he was signing up for when he decided to run for prime minister

Steph Ferretti said...

If the Prime Minister allowed them to take the picture, then I think it shouldn't matter if they are published or not. It was a picture with our president. It wasn't like they were following her and taking pictures of her while she wasn't paying attention. In my opinion, I think that the picture should have been published normally.

Wafai Dias said...

I definitely agree with you George, politicians were elected and not their children. I don't think that any politicians child's photo should be taken however it's their parents that fall irresponsible in controlling this aspect of their lives. So the parents should make sure their child's picture isn't taken until the child is 18 years old and can choose for themselves.

Fatia said...

Okay first off, this is American journalism..!! If you are going to post images of another country's 'first daughters" then american journalists should abide by the Spanish goverm=nments rules.After all like many of you said they didn't elect the daughters into office and I think the censorship is good!

William Carlson said...

In a beautiful world of brotherly love and high character, no stories would feature the families of politicians. The problem is that it is politics. From the dawn of time, people have been interested in/scrutinized/judged a leader's family. It is human nature. If you don't want people talking about your family, do not go into politics. It is as simple as that. I am not excusing it. I don't agree with it. Any politician who takes on a high profile position will have to weigh the pros and the cons. One of the many cons is this example. There are plenty of public service jobs that do not involve high profile exposure. If you don't want to be seen, don't stand in front of one of the most famous man in the world and have your pictures taken. It's not the riddle of the Sphinx.

Anonymous said...

FELICIA TOPSALE SAYS................If that is what Spain chooses I applaud them. The children of political leaders desrve a right to privacy, maybe more so than moast people because they already have security following them around 24 hours a day.