I watched with amusement yesterday of the phone camera interview of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones drunkenly ripping former Cowboys coach and coaching svengali Bill Parcells and former University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow.
It is also amusing to hear the moralists come out of the forest and say that this isn’t a story.
Yes and no.
It is a story because Jones is a public figure. Just like Tiger Woods, Ben Roethlisberger, and Larry King. If elected officials are public figures and whatever they say is of public record, so are their words and their actions. Entertainers, athletes, and reality stars fall under this provision as well. It matters who you are and what you say.
As ESPN Colin Cowherd pointed out this morning on his radio show, everyone is paparazzi and no one is off-limits.
I also agree with Cowherd in the aspect that what Jones said was not much to discuss about. There was nothing serious or “news-worthy” to talk about. If Jones said something of substance like how the new Cowboys Stadium was built, or if he did something illegal, it becomes news.
With that said, the onus is on the public figure to have common sense and the consciousness to watch what they say and do, no matter where they are at. For those who feel that the person who videotaped Jones talking was wrong for doing it, you need to take a second look around you and step off the pious soapbox.
If not for regular people with hand-held phones, cameras, or whatever at their perusal, we may have never known of the following “news” stories:
-the beating of Rodney King (regular citizen George Holliday filmed the incident with his VCR camera)
-the domestic attacks on the U.S. (firefighters doing an instructional video and saw the first plane hit WTC)
-Sully Sullenberger landing U.S. Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson River (Coast Guard cameras caught the landing)
-the shootout in the Las Vegas federal courthouse (juror walking out of courthouse caught the sounds of shooting on camera phone)
The rise of the “citizen journalist” can not be labeled as a bunch of unscrupulous individuals looking to get their 15 minutes of fame. If we see something that could be newsworthy or not, we’re going to pull out our iPhones, Blackberries, and flip cameras, and record it.