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By Jeremy Schiffres, Daily and Sunday Freeman, Kingston, N.Y.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Picture this

We were chatting in the Freeman newsroom Thursday night about the latest lunacy surrounding celebrity train wreck Britney Spears, namely that she had been taken to an L.A. hospital (again!) for a psychiatric evaluation.

I commented that, even though celebrities often bring attention upon themselves, even someone as kooky as Spears doesn't deserve to be trailed by throngs of paparazzi wherever she goes. For heaven's sake, this woman can't even go to a grocery store -- let alone a court proceeding in her ongoing child custody battle -- without having her picture snapped hundreds, perhaps thousands, of times.

It was at this point in the conversation that Assistant City Editor Matt Spireng made a suggestion that bordered on brilliant: All the hounded celebrities, who certainly have plenty of money to spare, should hire photographers of their own to follow and snap pictures of the paparazzi wherever they go, including in the course of their private lives. Then, perhaps, these merciless vultures would understand how it feels to be hunted like an animal without ever having a minute of privacy.

I couldn't agree more.



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