Malibu, Calif.—A paparazzo trying to photograph Matthew McConaughey at the beach told police he was attacked by a mob of surfers who threw his camera in the ocean.
The 29-year-old photojournalist told sheriff's deputies that a large group of surfers near Paradise Cove in Malibu approached him and other paparazzi about 2 p.m. Saturday and demanded the group stop taking pictures and filming.
"There was apparently a fight, and the photographer gave a statement that he received injuries," Los Angeles County sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said Sunday. Detectives are investigating...
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(Editorial Postscript: Yr. humbl. bottlewasher and chief factotum has to admit that he has no idea who Matthew McConaughey is. I'm assuming he's just a generic celebrity and not in some unique sense deserving of special protection from surfers...in other words I could be misinterpreting this story. Correct me if I'm missing something.
Whoever he might be, I now know how to spell his surprisingly difficult-to-spell name.)
ADDENDUM: Here's the TMZ video. (It's kind of a waste of time, actually. You are warned.) I'm no fan of the Paps, but surfers might be one of the few groups that harbor even bigger a-holes than the Paps are. I recommend a short film called "The Swell Life" (2001) for more on that. I don't think it's online, but you can buy it on iTunes. It shows the actuality behind the standard "surfing life" fantasy that's been a part of American lore since the '50s. Fascinating stuff.
Featured Comment by Alexander Vesey: "I find the multi-layered aspects of this 'feeding frenzy' humorously (but also sadly) warped. The paps first feed on the 'stars' (both high and low), and then videographers feed on the paps' shooting-stars/friends angered response sequence. In the third dimension, the ever voracious constantly consumes them both. (For the star adoring public, its a case of hating the messenger [the pap], but loving the message [intimate shots of the celebs].)
"Just for a added twist, upon occasion a talking head on the those shows that exacerbate the feeding will issue a mea culpa after a particularly grim event, and then its back to business exploiting all involved.
"All we need now is a self-reflexive 'reality show.' Perhaps 'Be a Pap for a Day' with goofy contestants who try to chase down celebs with equipment they do not understand. That way the public can feed on itself. Or we could have 'The Pap Follies'—the ironic iconization of those who claim to iconoclasts.
"Ahhh...I think I will go back to my books, and flower/landscape shots."
Featured Comment by Dick Bolton: "Observing, gathering information about, recording and reporting of the goings-on in public places—including public beaches—is a fundamental right in the USA. It is not a right that belongs exclusively to 'the press,' but to each and every one of us. It is not a right that is conditioned on who happens to be in that public place at that moment and wishes to not be recorded as part of the scene or wishes to not have the scene recorded at all.
"Any interference by 'official' (government) or private force with that right to observe, record and report is serious business, to be taken seriously as an attack on fundamental freedoms. It should not be applauded or dismissed lightly, cannot be condoned, and must not be tolerated."
Featured Comment by zlatko: "It's quite apparent from the video that the photographers weren't harassing the actor at all. They were at a distance on a big beach. They were photographing surfing, not a private activity. They weren't hiding or doing anything illegal. They weren't interfering with his surfing or his privacy rights. The mob that came to threaten them is clearly in the wrong."