Feature

Have the paparazzi gone too far?

Police rushed to Britney Spears

What happenedPolice rushed to Britney Spears’ home in a gated community Monday night after a paparazzi swarmed the troubled singer and snapped photographs after she argued with a friend and sat on the curb, sobbing. (AP via Google)

What the commentators saidThe “mindless herd of camera-packing cowboys” have crossed the line, said Al Martinez in the Los Angeles Times (free registration). They have hounded Spears through every step of her “latest breakdown,” staking out her home when she was refusing to give up custody of her two young sons, and snapping away as the “stricken” pop star was wheeled into the hospital on a gurney. “The so-called legitimate media aren't blameless,” because they gobble up “the latest doings or undoings of Britney, Paris, Nicole, Winona, Lindsay, Jessica and all of the other skinny icons of pop culture,” but it’s the “thugs with cameras” who really must be stopped.

It was all good fun at first, said Sky’s Showbiz blog, but Spears really appears to “be reaching the breaking point.” The latest spectacle was part of an “action-packed night,” in which Britney’s parents showed up at her California home to comfort her, and she later left to take a drive with boyfriend Adnan Ghalib—himself a paparazzi.

There’s a new diagnosis to explain what’s wrong with Spears, said Jennifer Vineyard in MTV.com. Blender magazine, in an issue hitting newsstands Feb. 12, suggests she has “Stockholm syndrome.” The paparazzi do seem to be the only people Spears hangs around with any more—she’s been “abandoned” by her lawyers, “dumped” by her management, and she’s largely “estranged” from her family. “It's hard to say whether Spears has befriended her so-called "captors"—the chasers and/or manipulators in her life—or whether she is just isolated and has no one left to trust.”

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