The Norman Transcript

Opinion

August 20, 2013

Public deserves some privacy

NORMAN — What do we, the public, have the right to know about celebrities?

Last week, Prince Fielder, the Detroit Tigers baseball superstar, was defended by a teammate, Torii Hunter, during a radio interview. Hunter suggested that Fielder, who has struggled at the plate, was dealing bravely with off-field issues and continuing to work hard every day.

It was only a few words, Hunter trying to defend his pal, but the effect was to pop a cork on a bottle. Suddenly, people breathlessly wondered what could be plaguing the highly paid slugger? And while Fielder himself said everything was fine, the news media began scurrying.

Soon after, a blog report surfaced that Fielder had filed for divorce back in May. Fielder did not reveal this, but someone did a search through court records near his off-season home in Florida. There, because the law demands it, paperwork had to be filed. And there, because the law demands it, that paperwork is accessible to anyone who knows how to properly search for it.

The result? Bang! Instant headlines across the country, including in the Detroit Free Press. Fielder’s divorce, quiet for months, was suddenly worldwide news. And just as suddenly, fans started speculating on things like: how bitter, how much, who was at fault, etc.?

It’s human nature, right?

Well, perhaps we should think more about human nature in this right-to-know era of news reporting. No one apologized to Fielder. No one hesitated to report his divorce. Once it was out there, it seemed fair game.

But why? What does his married life have to do with baseball? Could the divorce be affecting his play? Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe it’s a sore shoulder. Maybe it’s a swing adjustment. Maybe he’s fighting with a sibling. Maybe a business deal went bad. Maybe he needs his eyes checked. Maybe it’s just — how about this for a radical concept? — a slump or an off year.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • State, local jobmarkets look up

    A tight labor market is often a big problem for economic development professionals. They need to be able to promise companies that there are willing workers in the community’s labor pool....

    July 26, 2014

  • Keeping the war buried

    International outrage over the downing of a Malaysian passenger plane over Ukraine on July 17 does not appear to have affected either the actions of pro-Russia forces in that country or the material support Russia is offering the rebels. ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Gaza’s victims: civilians and peace

    After more than two weeks of fighting between Hamas and Israel, there is no question which side has the upper hand. Thursday’s strike on a U.N.-run school for Palestinian children increased the Palestinian death toll to more than 760. By ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Be careful out in the heat

    This week’s triple-digit temperatures are contributing to heat-related illnesses. The state health department’s Injury Prevention Service reminds Oklahomans of the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke....

    July 25, 2014

  • Get smart on crime

    It’s no secret that prison guards have become the frontline mental health case workers in Oklahoma prisons. Accessing mental health services outside of prison is tough but even harder behind the walls....

    July 25, 2014

  • James Garner will be missed

    Editor, The Transcript: Norman native son James Garner was a fine actor on stage, screen and television. I enjoyed the “Maverick” TV series and, in particular, the 1959 episode “The Strange Journey of Jenny Hill” in which the very popular ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Quite the resilient bunch

    The people of Moore are a resilient bunch. They’ve bounced back from tornadoes before, but the current renaissance may be the quickest yet. FEMA officials said it would take two years to see some sense of normalcy. That’s hardly the case....

    July 24, 2014

  • A fresh start for VA

    All of us have high hopes for the confirmation and success of Veterans Affairs Secretary nominee Robert McDonald. If confirmed — and most believe he’s a shoe-in — McDonald will take over a paralyzed system of health care that is not ...

    July 24, 2014

  • Call up National Guard

    We’re not sure it will help, but you have to hand it to Texas Gov. Rick Perry. He deployed up to 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to help secure his state’s border with Mexico this week....

    July 23, 2014

  • It’s only getting worse

    Conditions for children in Oklahoma were starting to look up for a few years, according to the annual Kids Count reports. Now we know it wasn’t getting better. The recession was impacting the rest of the country, dropping their scores....

    July 23, 2014