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Posted at 10:43 AM ET, 02/13/2008

Frank's Law: Cracking Down on the Paparazzi

By Liz Kelly

Yesterday, we had a serious discussion about the proposed "Britney Law." If passed, it would create a 20-yard "safety bubble" around paparazzi targets. Most poll respondents deemed the idea a good one, though the debate that followed leaves the door open for questions about the legality of limiting the press -- be they notebook-wielding wire stringers or camera-toting insta-paps.

It's no surprise, though, that Celebritology field agent Frank Thomason had a completely different take on the Britney Law. In fact, he's taken what had the makings of a modest eyebrow-raiser and given it the va-va-voom befitting the name "Britney."

Herewith, Frank's proposed changes to the Britney Law:

1. Paps have to use cameras from the 1930s that weigh at least 20 pounds and have those gigantic flash bulbs.

2. Barring that, no cameras should be allowed in the vicinity of a celeb -- paps must use a sketch artist or write a beautifully crafted 1,000 word narrative that makes you feel like you are there.

Carrot Top. (AP)

3. Equal time requirement -- for every picture you take of an A-List celebrity like Britney, you must also take a photo of a D-Lister like Carrot Top. Every photo you take is assigned a "grade" of A, B, C, or D depending on the celebrity's star power. Each pap's "GPA" can be no better than a B. If the pap's GPA is too high, they will be assigned to follow Sean Penn around for three months.

4. All paps must ride in the same car when following a celeb (a la the perennially funny clown car).

5. Paps must keep at least 15 feet away from the celebrity. In other words, if Britney can fling her head and her extensions hit you, you're too close.

6. If a pap chases a celeb's car on foot, they have to run behind it the whole way. None of this stopping after 50 feet crap.

7. Celebs are allowed to take a swing at five paps a year without penalty.

8. A gathering of more than five paps can be considered a riot and will be duly dispersed by the LAPD.

9. Celebs can be genetically altered to breathe fire anytime the paps come too close.

10. Any pap caught violating the above rules may be eligible to date Britney Spears.

Frank Thomason, a frequent Celebritology contributor, only uses his camera for good.

By Liz Kelly  | February 13, 2008; 10:43 AM ET
Categories:  Britney Spears, Celebrities  
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11. If a celebrity is snapped from a helicopter, being taken by ambulance to a mental institution, while her kids watch, don't post that picture again and again on your blog, no matter how much you irrationally hate said celebrity.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 13, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Can you imagine the redheaded juiced up combination of Carrot Top and Danny Bonaduce in the same room at the same time? Maybe in their 'roid rage one will destroy the other.

Idea!! It would be an awesome celebrity death match-up: 'roid-raging reheads in ridiculous rigged ringed combat. Perhaps I shall ponder and come back with something more clever at a later date.

Posted by: PGM | February 13, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

PGM, I would pay to watch that.

Posted by: michael | February 13, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Uh oh. 11:17 is wearing their cranky pants today!

Posted by: Anonymous | February 13, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, must be cranky. 'Cause harassing mental patients is all in good fun!

Posted by: CHJ | February 13, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

12. For safety and hygiene reasons, pap must wear full-body condom.

Posted by: possum | February 13, 2008 1:06 PM | Report abuse

LOL! Agree!

Posted by: Anonymous | February 13, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Okay, it has been a while since I have seen Carrot Top...but really?
He looks like he has had LOTS of work done...

Doesn't he look different? So weird...

Posted by: Ohyouknow | February 13, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

I laughed so hard at the mental image I got from #4 that I audibly snorted at work. Thanks.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 13, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Second the celebrity death match between Bonaduce and Carrot Top.

I wonder if Carrot Top has a belly button?

Posted by: b | February 13, 2008 2:55 PM | Report abuse

I don't have any clever comments, at least none that measure up to the list or PGM's suggestions!

I am curious, though: When will they name the Celebrity Captionologist for last week? It's bad enough that the pic was uninspiring, but then people did make the effort to come up with something... and it's been almost a week with no mention of it. I'd place a wager on Tzone, Bob, or Livia's attempts, but still, it would be nice to know!

Posted by: oregonchick | February 13, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

I'm curious as to who reads this blog and gets so angry about photos that are posted here repeatedly but yet chooses to remain anonymous. If it bothers you that these pictures are posted and you don't like what is written here, don't read the blog anymore.

Posted by: no_bs_4me | February 13, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

oregonchick -- fear not -- the captionologist winner will be announced during tomorrow's chat!

Posted by: Liz | February 13, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

If Liz is going to post a photo of Carrot Top without warning, then all I can say is "Ponies ponies ponies ponies!"

Wasn't that view of Danny Bonaduce's chest enough for one week?

Posted by: m.a.t. | February 13, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Anticipation, anticipation
Is makin' me late
Is keepin' me waitin'

Posted by: omni | February 13, 2008 4:03 PM | Report abuse

I don't care about general pictures or gossip, it's the intentional provocation of a disturbed person that I object to. Don't you? You can't mean that banging cameras against an ambulance door is okay? And, yes, I do feel the need to point out that posting those kinds of pictures and gossip encourages the harassment. If no one salivated over the pics, then they wouldn't be taken. That's simple economics. Again, I'm talking about stalking a person to the edge.

I do think it's important to be aware of what we're doing in the world, to think, to realize that our individual actions count. I keep repeating it because Liz, I'm sorry to say, is disingenuous about it. Professing to be a bystander, an observer, while throwing gas on the fire. It doesn't make sense to me.

And we're all anonymous. A code name doesn't exactly equal full disclosure, let's face it.

Watch "Network" sometime.

Anyway, that's it for me. I tried. I really was just trying to voice a little compassion and awareness.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 13, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Dude, I think we all get your point. I think we all got it the first time you made it. And the second. And so on. Thank you for trying to educate us.

I'm sure you'll have no trouble finding a group of similarly self-righteous people who will offer you virtual high-fives for your superiority over the rest of us.

Posted by: Wikijen | February 13, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Earnest Anonymous Poster above is not being superior, just decrying the tabloid market-place and the public's prurient (love that word) interest. EAP is just another voice singing the tune with other EAPs out there.

I love the images inspired by Frank Thompson's list.

I think they should all wear fedoras with their names and contact information on a sheet of paper that would be glued above the brim over their left ear (an impulsive choice). Oh, and they should preface everything by "Hey, mister...!" or "Hey, sister...!"

Given the kinds of surveillance that governments around the world are imposing on private citizens in the name of national security, celebs with their paps are living a kind of nightmare (if you're Brit or some other psychologically fragile person) and annoyance we can only dream of hating.

Posted by: Doris | February 13, 2008 8:22 PM | Report abuse

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