Last June we reported on the comings and goings of Paris Hilton and one of LA’s well-known paparazzo’s named "Twist" of X-17. At the time Paris was getting ready to head to jail and "Twist" was just getting out again.
Now a local Los Angeles City Councilman Dennis P. Zine is calling for the LA City Attorney and the LAPD to draft new legislation that would try to restrict aggressive paparazzi. The new initiative dubbed "Britney’s Law" by the media, would try and create a "safety zone" around celebrities and others who meet some yet to be determined criteria.
You can read LA Councilman Zine’s proposal here:
Councilman Zine’s claims his action was prompted by the recent paparazzo circus surrounding pop star Britney Spears who was provided an extensive (and expensive) LAPD police motorcade to deliver her to the UCLA hospital for an unscheduled psych "hold" stay just last week. Zine had previously been involved in the issue, when early last year a wide-ranging 1-hour investigative documentary on the subject of the paparazzi culture in Los Angeles was broadcast nationally on the E! network. The program prompted a response from the LAPD, Zine and many others involved in the issue of paparazzi celebrity media coverage.
Back to Ramon Kirk, aka"Twist"; ERS has learned the many times arrested X-17 paparazzo was once again arrested just weeks ago. This is at least the 10th time Kirk (actually we’re not keeping count at this point) has hauled in by LA cops for what seems to be a never ending outstanding warrant related to his driving on a suspended driver’s license. We won’t repeat that whole yarn again; you can read our June 2007 story for that amazing story. LA County Sheriffs in West Hollywood arrested Kirk on January 12th of this year. You can view Ramon Kirk’s latest 2008 arrest record here:
ERS spoke to X-17 owner Francois Navarre yesterday about "Twist" and his on going legal troubles, but in response we got little more than a couple of veiled threats to look into ERS reporters backgrounds and Navarre claimed that "Twist is a good guy." He went on to say that "Twist’ didn’t work for him directly so he didn’t have any responsibility to check out whether or not he had a valid drivers license when chasing celebrities around the streets of Los Angeles. He also told us that we should "call him back when you’re (sic) we’re less drunk".
So it seems to us here at ERS that that the notion of "enforcing existing laws" to put a damper on aggressive paparazzi here in Los Angeles and the big money they are making for themselves and for media outlets, from tabloid to mainstream, will work about as well as it does in the case of "Twist." Put simply, it hasn’t worked and doesn’t work.
On the other side of the argument are journalism organizations like the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) in Los Angeles and other media outlets that are strongly opposed to any curbs being put in place that might be applied to the "media" when it comes to "first amendment" rights to cover the "news," celebrity or otherwise. The SPJ put out this press release opposing Councilman Zine’s proposed new regulations. Click here to read it: http://www.spj.org/losangeles/
Here at ERS we don’t profess to have all the answers, but if anybody has any good ideas, let us know. As for being "drunk," like X-17’s Navarre insinuated about us, for the record, ERS was stone sober when we wrote this story, we’re just a little "punch drunk" over the celebrity paparazzi world we now live in.