It's a vile industry, an industry that has set itself the task to trivialize and commodify as many peoples' lives as it can interest us in. When you elevate and magnify the small moments and inconsequential choices of what would normally be someone's private life, when you blare these moments across headlines and photo-slide-show articles, you trivialize and denigrate all human life. Every small moment and every little choice that any us can make is warped and distorted by the reflected focus. Life is made simultaneously too large and too small: too small, because our lives shrink to insignificance in light of the glorious shine of celebrity; too large, because such trivial acts have absurdly been inflated to Macy's parade balloon proportions and accepted as fit topics for national news. A woman's choice of a simple and tasteful frock while taking her own mother out to lunch is blasted across headlines, and the occasion is used to excuse commentary on her previous day's yoga pants.
To be clear: I'm not talking about anyone's rights, here. Grow up. There's no such thing as a right to privacy in public. But do you recall reading about a day when the Great British Public (for instance) could rise up in indignation, a nation appalled over some nasty and demeaning trend, practice, or incident, a nation determined to bring to bear every pressure, censure or condemnation that was necessary and permissible under the law to redress or correct it - even if the appalling thing was not in any sense a crime?
It's a shame we've lost that fighting instinct. There was such a time when the public in general had stones, metaphorically, and they didn't need the law to feel free casting the first one, the last one, and every one in between. And all perfectly legal: no lynch jobs, no censorship, just the free exercise of speech as used to express condemnation, revulsion, disapproval. It was all perfectly legal, that sort of thing. It still would be, technically. Perhaps in Europe.