A Free Press and Gossip News

I love Foreign Policy‘s Passport blog, but this is just kind of, er, dumb:

[Freedom House] says that “no serious abuses against journalists have been reported for several years” in Namibia. That was, however, before Mr. and Mrs. Smith arrived and set up a no-press zone…let’s hope Namibia doesn’t decide to trade its “free” rating in order to be the next celebrity birthing It-locale.

While I don’t get the appeal of giving birth in a poor former South African colony, and certainly don’t get why Britney Spears now wants to repeat Pitt and Jolie’s stunt, how the hell is privacy preservation eroding the freedom of the press? Sure, one photographer has been arrested. But that was for trespassing, which is kind of illegal, everywhere. Also, let’s focus on the spirit of the law. We have the concept of freedom of the press because without information about the state of the nation, and without muckraking about government abuses, democracy can’t function. I’m pretty sure democracy can function if not every photographer is shooting pictures of Brangelina’s offspring.

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